LAUREL HOLLOW, NY — Police on Tuesday released the names of the two victims of a fatal car accident over the weekend in Nassau County.
They were a married couple who left behind two young girls. Their community quickly launched an education fund to help them.
A bagel shop owner has started a fundraiser to let them know their neighbors are with them during their unfathomable loss.
“That the community is there, that there will be people. Two lives have already been taken. You don’t want to destroy the lives of two children,” said Vadim Nayman, owner of Bagel Master.
Just after midnight Saturday, Ismenia and Odalis Urena, both 37, were driving on Northern Boulevard, which winds through Laurel Hollow, minutes from the Muttontown home they built a year ago, when an allegedly drunk driver in an SUV swerved into their lane and shattered their Ferrari convertible.
Sotirios Spanos, 32, from Syosset, was reportedly driving while almost three times over the legal alcohol limit and showed “shining bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteady on his feet,” according to a police report.
“A 37-year-old couple just driving on our local roads was attacked and the vehicle was a weapon and this individual took the parents of a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old,” Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan said. . .
It was the latest in a recent string of drunk driving tragedies: seven fatalities in Nassau in as many days.
Lafazan calls it a national public safety emergency.
“An emergency with five alarms that we don’t heed. The statistics are extremely frightening. Every day 28 people die in a drunken accident. It’s more than one every hour,” Lafazan said. “If you get behind the wheel and you’re over it two or three times, it’s not a coincidence. That’s a conscious decision to kill someone.”
An author and life coach were killed in the crash. Ismenia Urena had just published a book. Her husband, Odalis, owned a construction business.
“Another chamber had reached out to me and really offered anything they could do to help this family,” said Russell Green of the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce.
Spanos is being held without bail and will appear in court on Wednesday on two counts of manslaughter, reckless driving and drunk driving.
Spanos entered a not guilty plea. According to his lawyer, he is a married employee of a law firm and has no criminal record.