Just remember, the private automobile stands for freedom, and if you’re not with us you’re with the terrorists. From Newsday, July 24:
Hummer driver pled guilty to loan-sharking charges
The Lloyd Harbor man who fell asleep and accidentally drove his Hummer into two teenage sisters, killing one, is awaiting sentencing on separate loan-sharking charges — though that crime won’t factor in the investigation into Sunday’s accident, authorities said.
New York City Police arrested Gerald Taddonio, 55, last year and accused him of being the front man in a loan-sharking scheme that pulled in roughly $1 million. He pleaded guilty last month to fourth-degree conspiracy charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 8, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
His wife, Susan, pled guilty in May to filing a false tax return. She is expected to be sentenced to that misdemeanor charge on the same day.
On Sunday, Taddonio fell asleep at the wheel of his 2003 Hummer on Park Avenue in Huntington Sunday and barreled into sisters Blanca, 15, and Anna Benitez, 17, as they were walking home from a cousin’s house, police said.
Blanca — described by a guidance counselor as warm and loving with a beautiful smile — was killed from the impact.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Dt. Sgt. Bruce Markgraf at a press conference Monday at Suffolk’s Second Precinct, which is across the street from where the accident occurred.
Markgraf said Anna Benitez was in good condition at Huntington Hospital today.
Taddonio, who has sleep apnea and usually takes a breathing device at night to help with the condition, is not expected to be charged, according to police.
“If it was irresponsible, we would probably look at criminal charges,” Markgraf said.
Markgraf added that Taddonio had a clean record on his license. The Hummer — which had a horse trailer attached to it — was impounded to West Hampton. Markgraf was returning from a horse show at the time of the accident.
A horse in the trailer was not injured.
The aftermath of Sunday’s accident was evident on Park Avenue today, as Markgraf surveyed the scene with about a half dozen journalists. A traffic sign run over by the Hummer lay in the grass.
Markgraf said Taddonio was “extremely distraught” about the accident.
Two teenage sisters walking home in Huntington were hit by a Lloyd Harbor man who fell asleep at the wheel and lost control of his car yesterday, killing one and injuring the other, Suffolk Police said.
Blanca Benitez, 15, and Anna Benitez, 17, were walking home from a cousin’s house at about 1 p.m. when a 2003 Hummer driven by Gerald Taddonio, 55, jumped the curb at Park Avenue in Huntington, striking the two girls, police said.
As her sister lay on the roadway, Anna Benitez rushed to her side. “Blanca died in her arms,” said Laurie Constantino, a guidance counselor at South Middle School in Brentwood, which the girls attended classes before high school.
Police said Taddonio suffers from sleep apnea and had not been sleeping well recently or regularly using a treatment device prescribed to those who suffer from the condition.
Det. Sgt. Bruce Markgraf of Suffolk’s Second Squad said Taddonio was woken by his wife’s screams, and that the incident likely took place in less than a second.
“He was only on the curb, probably 100 feet,” Markgraf said. “He stopped as soon as he realized something had happened.”
Taddonio will not be charged, regardless of his disorder, because it was considered an accident, as with other cases where a driver loses concentration, Markgraf said.
We just love that he is being charged for loan-sharking, but not for taking the life of an innocent teenage girl. Yet more evidence that a driver’s license is actually a license to kill.
See more reasons WHY WE FIGHT.