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Charges Upgraded Against Driver In Southern State Parkway Crash That Killed 2 Kids, Their Dad

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A driver pleaded not guilty Thursday to upgraded charges in a more than 100-mph crash that killed a man and his two children on Long Island.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, new video evidence suggests that even at the scene, a cover-up was under way.

An attorney entered the plea Thursday on behalf of Oniel Sharpe Jr., 24, of Queens. The charges include aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene and driving while intoxicated. Sharpe also is charged with having 23 fraudulent credit cards in his vehicle.

The crash happened on July 12 on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore.

Prosecutors said Sharpe had left a booze and pot filled party in Suffolk County when he began driving his BMW X-5 at speeds of up to 130 mph, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

Sharpe then lost control and slammed into another family's car, which burst into flames. Killed were Ancio Ostane of Queens and his children: 8-year-old Andy and 4-year-old Sephora. Ostane's wife and the children's mother, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, escaped uninjured.

Charges Upgraded Against Driver In Southern State Parkway Crash

Prosecutors said the case is even more callous and sinister than first thought. They alleged that Sharpe was caught on tape at the scene -- not helping as three people burned to death, but instead covering his tracks.

"It's disgusting," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. "It's revolting."

A mother was pleading for help as her husband and children sat trapped inside a car on fire, but the driver who slammed into them was videotaped going back to his BMW and throwing something into the woods, prosecutors said.

"She had to watch in horror as her husband and children were trapped in their car and ultimately burned to death," Spota said.

Spota said Sharpe was getting rid of a bottle of tequila after a booze-filled joyride.

"Not only did they not do anything at all to help these poor souls, they -- the defendants -- shamelessly sought to cover up their involvement in the crash," Spota said.

Still pictures showed good Samaritans trying to douse the flames, but not Sharpe – an airport custodian from Springfield Gardens, Queens -- or his passenger.

Ancio Ostane, 37, of Queens, and his two children – Sephora, 4, and Andy, 8 – perished in the fiery crash.

Sharpe's family packed a Central Islip courtroom, where prosecutors detailed the moments after he and friends allegedly left a Brentwood party.

Sheon Richards, 23, is now also charged, admitted to driving 95 mph. Sharpe allegedly drove another car, trying to catch up at more than 120 mph. Richards also pleaded not guilty.

Spota claimed they were "weaving in and out and of traffic, driving high performance vehicles, driving recklessly."

Another friend, Demetri Stewart, 23, is accused of being the getaway driver. He was following Sharpe at the time of the crash and drove him away from the scene, prosecutors said.

Stewart's attorney called his client an innocent good Samaritan who helped his friend and tried to take him to the hospital. Stewart has pleaded not guilty to related charges.

A fourth defendant – Courtney Sharpe, 24 – pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and attempted identity theft. The charges against Courtney Sharpe, Oniel Sharpe's cousin, stemmed from the discovery of the fraudulent credit cards found at in a pocket at the base of the BMW steering wheel column.

Sharpe's attorney, Jonathan Manley, insisted his client was not drunk. He said test results show his blood alcohol level was .06, but the DA said Sharpe's blood alcohol was taken four hours after the crash.

"Mr. Sharpe was actually rendering aide to other individuals in the accident," Manley said.

Spota took issue with that claim.

"He was helping people?" the prosecutor said as he pointed to a photo of the burning car. "My reaction is right there -- who was he helping? He helped nobody."

And after watching the video of the crash, lawmakers called for doubling the penalties for hit-and-run crashes.

"There is alcohol involved, and they want to allow the time to wear off," said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Officials said four hours after Sharpe fled, he still smelled of alcohol. They calculated his blood alcohol at the time of the crash as .12 – well above the legal limit.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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