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Father of woman killed in limo crash files notice of claim against town

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08/12/2015 4:32 PM |

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The family of one of the victims of last month’s fatal limousine crash in Cutchogue has filed a notice of claim against Southold Town and Suffolk County.

Cutchogue attorney Robert Sullivan is representing Steven Baruch, whose 24-year-old daughter Lauren was killed in the July 18 crash.

Ms. Baruch was one of eight women riding in the limo 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 driven by 55-year-old Steven Romeo of Peconic.

Mr. Sullivan said the county and town were aware of the dangerous intersection yet failed to make it safe.

“The real shame of it all is that the residents of Cutchogue and Southold had been pleading for a light there or a no U-turn sign,” he said. “It would have been so simple to solve. Now we have four deaths and horrible injuries and now we’re going to get the light. What a waste.”

Days following the fatal crash, Legislature Al Krupski announced a traffic light is planned to be installed at the intersection this fall.

Now that a notice of claim was filed Wednesday, Mr. Sullivan said both drivers will eventually be named as defendants at a later date.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s spokeswoman, Vanessa Baird-Streeter, declined comment due to pending litigation.

One of the crash’s survivors, Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn is seeking monetary damages in a separate suit after suffering serious injuries.

Ms. Lipets was one of four limo passengers who were hospitalized following the crash, as were the two drivers. The eight friends had hired the limousine to take them wine and vodka tasting on the North Fork, prosecutors said.

Mr. Romeo, who District Attorney Thomas Spota said had a blood-alcohol content below the legal limit when he submitted to a blood test nearly two hours after the crash, has been charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. He is due back in court Sept. 18.

Photo Caption: Lauren Baruch. (Credit: Facebook)

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