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Survivor in fatal limo crash sues both drivers, limo company

07/31/2015 9:00 AM |

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One of the four women injured in the limousine crash that killed four other women has filed a lawsuit against both the pickup truck driver accused of driving drunk and her limousine driver, according to legal filings made late Thursday. 

Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn is seeking monetary damages for the “serious injuries” she suffered in the crash, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn late Thursday.

Ms. Lipets was one of eight women riding in the limo on July 18 when it attempted a U-turn at the intersection of County Route 48 and Depot Lane in Cutchogue and was struck by a pickup truck.

The crash killed Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack and Brittney Schulman, 23, of Smithtown.

The driver of the pickup truck, Peconic businessman Steven Romeo, 55, has been charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, prosecutors said. But Mr. Romeo’s blood-alcohol level was 0.066 when it was taken one hour and 40 minutes after the crash, below the legal limit of 0.08 percent for DWI.

Prosecutors still say they believe Mr. Romeo was intoxicated at the time of the crash and have not reduced the drunken driving charges.

He pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 cash bail, reduced from the original $500,000 bail set after the crash.

Though prosecutors said the limo driver was making a legal U-turn at the time of the crash, Ms. Lipets has sued both the driver, Carlos Pino, and Mr. Romeo, as well as the limousine company, Ultimate Class Limousine Inc. of Hicksville, and Mr. Romeo’s marine services business, according to the lawsuit.

Ms. Lipets’ attorney, Jason Paris of New York City, declined to comment when reached late Thursday. He couldn’t be immediately reached Friday morning.

Attorneys for Mr. Romeo or Mr. Pino as well as a representative for Ultimate Class Limousine also couldn’t be reached for comment early Friday.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Olga Lipets’ name.

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