NEW HYDE PARK - A man who admitted drinking and smoking marijuana prior to a fatal 2014 crash was sentenced today to four years in prison.
Deepak Kumar admitted earlier this year that had been drinking and smoking marijuana before he slammed into Pierre Antoine's car on Covert and Second avenues in New Hyde Park.
Antoine, 55, was in town from California to visit his hospitalized mother. He died at the scene of the crash. His wife and 6-year-old daughter were seriously injured and underwent months of hospitalization. Antoine’s wife Marta lost her spleen and kidney and suffered multiple broken ribs. Their daughter, 8-year-old Solania, wears a brace and still limps from her broken leg and pelvis injuries, according to her uncle.
Prior to sentencing, Kumar asked the Antoine family for forgiveness.
“This was a terrible accident,” the judge said. “I know you didn’t plan to kill Mr. Antoine, but it was based on your actions.”
Antoine’s brother spoke to reporters before leaving the courthouse about forgiving Kumar.
"My brother was a forgiving person,” said Harry Antoine. “I'm sure my brother, if he was here, he would say, 'Yeah we'll forgive.' And the family doesn't have any hatred for him.”
Immediately after sentencing, Kumar was taken into custody. Marta Antoine says the sentence was not long enough. If Kumar had gone to trial, he could have faced up to 25 years in prison.