Lawyer for teen girl who killed three in Long Island crash insists she committed no crime -

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Lawyer for teen girl who killed three in Long Island crash insists she committed no crime

James Toner, attorney for Cindy Sanchez Oliva, talks to the press outside of Nassau County Family Court on Monday, June 11, 2018 in Hempstead. (Debbie Egan-Chin / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
The 15-year-old girl who killed her brother and two friends in a horrific, high-speed car crash on Long Island committed no crime, her lawyer said Monday.
Cindy Sanchez Oliva skipped school Friday along with her brother and friends, and was headed to the beach when she flipped the SUV she was driving, police say.
Nine people were in the car as she sped down the Meadowbrook Parkway around 11:40 a.m., including her 18-month-old daughter, according to cops.
Sanchez Oliva, who was too young to have a license, lost control and crashed.
David Sanchez, Cindy’s 13-year-old brother, was among the dead. Also killed were Marlon Carbajal, 15, and Herbert Leo Avilles-Maravilla, 16.
When asked if she should be criminally charged, Sanchez Oliva’s lawyer Jeff Toner said, “Absolutely not.”
The teen is facing manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges and appeared in Nassau County Family Court on Monday.
She was ordered to a hospital to undergo physical and psychological evaluations.
A New York State Trooper works the scene of a fatal accident, Friday, June 8, 2018 along the Meadowbrook Parkway in Merrick, N.Y. (Howard Schnapp / AP)
Sanchez Oliva never expected to be behind the wheel that day, Toner said.
The person who was supposed to drive was high and inebriated, he said.
“I think her intentions were good. She had her child in the car, in a car seat. By all accounts, she’s a good mother,” he said after the proceeding. “I don’t want to understate it, it is a huge tragedy. But it’s youthful indiscretion. It’s young people taking a car and going to the beach.”
Toner said she deserved no more than a speeding ticket.
“I see a juvenile who’s not experienced driving a vehicle,” he said. “So charge her with what? An unlicensed driver is a traffic infraction in New York. It’s not a crime.”
Sanchez Oliva was wide-eyed and quiet during the hearing. Her hands were cuffed and shackled to her waist, even though she suffered an injury to her left arm in the accident that requires a cast.
Prosecutors said that Sanchez Oliva and her friends decided several days in advance to go to Jones Beach on Friday.
Maria Oliva, right in striped sweater, walks out of Juvenile Detention Center on way to go into Nassau County Family Court with an family members, left on Monday, June 11, 2018 in Hempstead. Her daughter Cindy Sanchez Oliva, 15, has been arraigned. (Debbie Egan-Chin / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“This was a planned skip out of school,” said Assistant DA Julia D’Agostino. “Nobody in the vehicle was licensed to drive.”
D’Agostino also said two people in the van were members of a gang, Los Platos, but didn’t give names.
Toner requested that Sanchez Oliva be released so she could go home with her mother and bury her brother.
“Her mental state is very much intertwined with these events,” he said.
Judge Ellen Greenberg disagreed, stating it was “contrary to her welfare” to release the teen at this time.
Toner said it appears the SUV was going slightly over the 55-mph speed limit.
Blood tests will determine whether Sanchez Oliva was drunk or high at the time of the crash, Toner said. But he added he had no reason to believe she was intoxicated.
The teen will next appear in court July 3.

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