Michael Bantel was impaired when he drove into pickup truck on Sunrise Highway in May 2015
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Massapequa man who killed his 28-year old passenger when he drove drugged the wrong way on Sunrise Highway and crashed head-on into a pickup truck was sentenced today to three to nine years in prison by Supreme Court Justice Angelo Delligatti.
Michael Bantel, 28, pleaded guilty on May 13 before Judge Delligatti to Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony), Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a D felony), Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol & Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor) and Assault in the 3rd Degree (an A misdemeanor).
“Drugged drivers threaten everyone around them,” DA Singas said. “One man’s life was taken and woman’s life was endangered by this dangerous driver’s recklessness. I will continue to fight to strengthen these laws, while prosecuting them to the fullest extent, because they represent a real, present and indiscriminate danger to everyone.”
DA Singas said that on May 5, 2015, at approximately 4:45 a.m., Bantel was traveling eastbound on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa in a 2005 Nissan Maxima when he drove across the median into oncoming traffic, crashing head-on with a 2014 Ford F-150XLT pickup truck at the Hicksville Road intersection.
Bantel’s passenger, 28-year-old Anthony Sylvia, died from the resulting injuries soon after at Nassau University Medical Center. The 37-year-old female driver of the Ford and Bantel were treated for minor injuries. The defendant was impaired by more than one narcotic drug at the time of the crash.
The female victim had borrowed the pickup truck because her normal car, a sedan, was being serviced at the time.
Assistant District Attorney Katie Zizza of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Bantel is represented by Daniel Ollen, Esq.