A teenaged driver has been accused of luring his friend into a street race moments before the second vehicle crashed, killing all five teens inside in Farmingdale last year, authorities said Thursday.
A grand jury indicted 18-year-old Cory Gloe of Farmingdale on charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and assault. He pleaded not guilty.
“Unfortunately nothing will alleviate the pain or bring back the lives lost in this senseless crash,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “We owe it to our kids and everyone on our roads to remember that speed and racing kill.”
Prosecutors said Gloe stopped his Toyota Scion at the corner of Conklin Street and Route 110 when he allegedly challenged 17-year-old Tristan Reichle, who was driving a 2001 Nissan Sentra, shortly after midnight on May 10, 2014. Both drivers had four passengers in their vehicles at the time.
When the light turned green, both vehicles raced westbound on Route 24 when Reichle lost control, crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and crashed into a GMC Terrain, authorities said.
Reichle and his passengers—18-year-old Jesse Romero, 14-year-old Carly Lonnborg, 15-year-old Noah Francis and 17-year-old Cody Talanian, all of Farmingdale—were killed in the crash. Two adults in the GMC suffered serious injuries from which they are still recovering.
The tragedy prompted New York State officials to enhance traffic safety measures in the area. Nassau County police have also stepped up patrols on those roadways. Singas pledged to crack down on street racing.
Judge Terence Murphy set bail for Gloe at $50,000 cash or bond and suspended his license. Gloe is due back in court on Feb. 11. He faces up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.
“My client did not cause this accident in any way,” his attorney, Stephen LaMagna, told reporters.