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Posted on: December 21, 2016

Island Park Man Found Guilty of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide in High-Speed Crash That Killed Couple

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that an Island Park man was convicted today on all counts related to a January 2015 high speed crash that killed two people parked at a traffic light on Sunrise Highway.

John Aniano, 27, was found guilty by a jury of:

  • Two counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (a B felony)
  • Two counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the 1st Degree (a C felony)
  • Two counts of Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
  • Two counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a D felony)
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Drugs (an E felony)
  • Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor)

The defendant is due back in court on Jan. 25 before Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl Berkowitz and faces up to 8-1/3 to 25 years in prison.

“John Jones and Sharon Long were random, innocent victims of a driver who had no regard for anyone’s life on busy Sunrise Highway,” DA Singas said. “Drivers who travel at grossly excessive speeds through red traffic lights or while they are impaired will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The citizens of Nassau County should not have to fear for their lives on our roads.”

DA Singas said that on Jan. 12, 2015, at approximately 8:13 p.m., Aniano was driving his 2004 Mercedes Benz westbound on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook at upwards of 100 mph in a 30 mph zone. As the defendant approached Denton Avenue, he drove around traffic, onto a shoulder, and through a red light.

Aniano then accelerated westbound and ultimately crashed into the back of a 2005 Toyota Avalon stopped at a red light at Forest Avenue. The Toyota was operated by John Jones, 54, with Sharon Long, 53, in the front passenger seat. The defendant’s vehicle crushed the rear passenger side of the victim’s vehicle, pushing the back passenger seat into the dashboard of the vehicle. The victims’ vehicle was propelled more than 250 feet into the eastbound lanes where it struck the driver’s side of a 2007 Toyota traveling eastbound.

Long suffered catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Jones was transported to South Nassau Communities Hospital where he later died of his injuries. The driver of the 2007 Toyota was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Aniano, who was observed by police as being under the influence of drugs, was arrested at the scene by members of the Lynbrook Police Department. A test of defendant’s blood revealed the presence of Delta 9 – THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.

Deputy Bureau Chief Michael Bushwack and Assistant District Attorney Katie Zizza of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Aniano is represented by Joseph LoPiccolo, Esq and Jonathan Edelstein, Esq.

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