Devane working to enhance street safety following fatal crash in NHP

Devane working to enhance street safety following fatal crash in NHP
A memorial for the three women killed in a car crash in late May stands outside The Inn at New Hyde Park. (Photo by Jessica Ren)

New Hyde Park Mayor Christopher Devane is aiming to enhance the safety of village streets following three women being killed in a car crash outside of the Inn at New Hyde Park last month, according to News 12.

Dante Lennon of Freeport was behind the wheel of a speeding 2012 Mercedes-Benz sedan that struck a 2010 Lincoln Town Car carrying six people outside of the Inn on the eastbound lane of Jericho Turnpike, police said. Detectives responded to the collision shortly after 11 p.m. on May 21, officials said.

According to court documents, Lennon acknowledged he had consumed alcoholic beverages before driving.

Devane told News 12 he is proposing a “no left turn” sign where the car attempted to make a left-hand turn out of, along with a speed camera on Jericho Turnpike, installing a traffic light and potentially making the S. 3rd Street a one-way road.

“In the city, when I know there’s a speed camera, I slow down and I see the corresponding traffic slow down,” Devane told News 12. “And I think that would have a deterring effect as well on Jericho Turnpike.

Devane said that he has spoken with officials from the state’s transportation department and plans to discuss the proposals further, according to the report. A department spokesperson told News 12 that they will “take any requests from local officials regarding potential safety enhancements,” reiterating that safety is a “top priority.”

The three backseat passengers of the Lincoln—Marlene Lu and Ho Hua, both of Queens, and Tu Nguyen from North Carolina—were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver and two other passengers in the Lincoln were taken to local hospitals and were in stable condition, officials said.

Efforts to reach officials on their current status were unavailing.

Officials said the women were leaving a Sweet 16 celebration at the venue prior to the crash. Police said Lu was the mother of the host of the Sweet 16 party, while Hua was the host’s aunt and Nguyen the host’s cousin.

Lennon was charged on Monday with three counts of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, second-degree vehicular assault and driving while impaired, police said. His preliminary blood alcohol content of .88% was higher than the legal limit of .08%, according to the documents.

Lennon was ordered to return to court on May 25, but efforts to reach law enforcement officials for a further update were unavailing.

Michael McCutchen, a security guard at The Inn who opened the door for the guests and saw them leave the spot Saturday night, told Newsday the crash “sounded like a bomb went off.”

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said the police department plans on starting an initiative to “take back” the roads and crackdown on traffic infractions such as speeding and drunk driving.

Efforts to reach a representative from The Inn at New Hyde Park or officials from the Nassau County Police Department for further comment were unavailing.

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