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Driver in crash that killed Riverhead family sentenced to 27 years in prison

08/07/2019 9:50 AM |

The driver responsible for a fatal crash in Ridge that killed four members of a Riverhead family last year was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years in prison, according to a press release from District Attorney Timothy Sini’s office.

Jamel Turner, 25, of Bellport had pleaded guilty in March and the sentence matches the terms made public at that time.

“This is one of the more significant prison sentences we have ever seen on a vehicular crime case in Suffolk County, and it’s for good reason,” Mr. Sini said in a statement. “This is a drug-dealing gang member who caused the death of five individuals and seriously injured a sixth individual. Nothing can undo his actions that day, but today we made sure that Jamel Turner will not pose a threat to the safety of the residents of Suffolk County for a very, very long time.”

The Feb. 14, 2018, crash occurred when Mr. Turner was driving a stolen 2018 Chevrolet Camaro while impaired by marijuana and struck a 2012 Mazda on Middle Country Road in Ridge. The Camaro then struck an oil truck traveling westbound and the Mazda struck a 1999 Infiniti traveling eastbound, prosecutors said.

Mr. Turner was driving 154 mph, the DA said.

Four occupants of the Mazda — Jacquelyn McCoy of Calverton, her daughter MaryAlice Booker, her son Anthony McCoy and his girlfriend, Tameka Foster — were killed in the crash. All four had lived in the Riverhead area.

The DA previously said the cause of death for all four victims was determined to be blunt force trauma and thermal injuries, indicating that they were still alive following the impact.

A fifth person was also killed in the crash. Lonidell Skinner, 19, of Bellport was a passenger in the Camaro and was ejected on impact and pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Turner’s dog, Prince, was also ejected from the Camaro and died.

The DA previously stated Mr. Turner was in possession of crack cocaine at the time of the crash.

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