A driver has been arrested for allegedly racing a suspected drunken driver who authorities said caused the fiery crash that killed a father and his two children in Bay Shore last month.
Sheon Richards, 23, of St. Albans, pleaded not guilty Thursday at Suffolk County court to charges of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, speeding and failure to maintain lane.
Oniel Sharpe Jr. , the 24-year-old Springfield Gardens man accused of crashing into the family’s car, and Demetri Stewart, the 23-year-old Cambria Heights man who allegedly helped him fleethe scene, were also indicted on new, upgraded charges.
“Richards is going 90, 95 mph and he told investigators that at that speed, his friend, Oniel Sharpe Jr., is catching up to him ,” District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “Witnesses who saw Sharpe’s car weaving from lane to lane estimate his speed to be between 120, 130 mph.”
Prosecutors said Sharpe and Richards were both racing BMWs on the Southern State Parkway when when Sharpe allegedly rear-ended a car near exit 41 at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, July 12.
Three people in the vehicle that Sharpe allegedly hit—37-year-old Ancio Ostane and his two children, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4—were trapped in the burning vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Their mother and Ancio’s wife, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, escaped and was taken to South Side Hospital in Bay Shore, where she was treated for minor injuries and released. The family was on their way home to St. Albans after leaving a family party in Central Islip, police said.
Sharpe, who previously pleaded not guilty to charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, also pleaded not guilty to new charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, manslughter, tampering with evidence, reckless driving and traffic violations.
Stewart, who previously pleaded not guilty to charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, hindering prosecution and criminal facilitation, also pleaded not guilty to new charges of leaving the scene of an accident, criminal facilitation, making a false statement and marijuana possession.
Instead of trying to help the victims, Spota said that Sharpe and Stewart “shamelessly sought to cover up their involvement in the crash by discarding evidence, leaving the scene and intentionally misleading and lying to investigators.”
The district attorney added that investigators have a video showing Sharpe retrieving a bottle from the backseat of his car and heaving it away from his vehicle—but authorities found a bottle of Patron Tequila from the brush near the crash scene.
In addition to the crash-related charges, Spota said Sharpe’s 24-year-old cousin, Courtney Sharpe of Springfield Gardens, was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument and attempted identity theft after authorities found 23 counterfeit cards hidden in the steering column of the BMW X-5 Sharpe was driving, according to investigators.
Courtney Sharpe also pleaded not guilty. Her bail was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. Her cousin’s bail was set at $500,000 cash or $1.5 million bond. Bail for Stewart was set at $150,000 cash or $300,000 bond and Richards was released without bail.