Queens man sentenced in crash that killed Elmont cab driver

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MINEOLA -

A Queens man was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to an April 2016 crash that killed a 47-year-old Elmont cab driver. 

Police say Duke Obule, 24, was driving more than 100 mph on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square when he struck a taxi driven by Paul Mitacek, a father of three. 

The taxi was catapulted into a utility pole. Officials say Mitacek died instantly. 

Before he was sentenced, Obule turned to the Mitacek family and said, "I am not a monster, I made a mistake. I am truly sorry." 

Mitacek's ex-wife told us she appreciated Obule's apology, but it was too little and too late. She described the pain she felt as she broke the news of their father's death to her children. 

"That was the hardest day of my life, sitting them down on the sofa and just telling them that their father was dead. It was shattering to them and I will never forget it," said Deirdre Mitacek. 

Paulette Mitacek, Paul's mother, did forgive Obule. 

"My son had a lot of love and I do believe that he had a lot of forgiveness in his heart," she said. "He never held a grudge, so I believe my son would have forgiven him."

With good behavior, Obule could be out of prison in four years.
 

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