BAY SHORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A second man has been arrested following a fiery car crash on Long Island that killed a father and his two young children.
State Police arrested 23-year-old Demetri Stewart. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday in Suffolk County Court on charges related to helping the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash flee. He is being held on $200,000 bond.
Second Man Arrested In Long Island Crash That Killed Father, 2 Children
Prosecutors said Stewart was following his friend, 24-year-old Oneil Sharpe, on the Southern State Parkway when Sharpe rear-ended his BMW into a Toyota near exit 41 in Bay Shore early Sunday morning.
The Toyota burst into flames, killing 37-year-old Ancio Ostane, his 8-year-old son, Andy, and 4-year-old daughter, Sephora, police said. Ostane's wife and the children's mother, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, escaped uninjured.
Stewart stopped his rental car and as the family was screaming for help, Stewart instead told his friend to get into his car and left the scene, driving around for four hours so that Sharpe could sober up, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney John Scott Prudenti said.
"As a family less than 100 feet away was burning to death, they did absolutely nothing to help this family," Prudenti said.
But Stewart's attorney called his client an innocent good Samaritan and said he helped his friend and tried to take him to the hospital, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.
Prudenti disputes that claim.
"Nothing can be further than the truth," he said.
Woman Who Lost Husband, Kids Places Memorial At LI Crash Site
Meanwhile, Ostane's wife placed a memorial at the site of the crash Tuesday.
It was a heartbreaking scene as grief-stricken Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane fell to the ground while placing the memorial on the side of the Southern State Parkway, Hall reported.
"Sephora, Andy, honey, you guys will stay in my heart forever. God bless you guys," she said.
Bouaz-Ostane also had words for Sharpe: "You took away my whole family, my whole life."
Sharpe pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday to driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. Bond was set at $500,000.
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