Man Who Drove Car into Staten Island Home Pleads Guilty
TOTTENVILLE — A man who whose car plowed into a Tottenville home last year, injuring a sleeping mother and her 5-year-old daughter, pleaded guilty to vehicular assault on Thursday, prosecutors said.
Charles Trainor had alcohol in his system when his 2010 Hyundai Elantra crashed through the kitchen of 5309 Arthur Kill Rd., injuring Lisa Micciulla-Roman, 40, and her daughter Leonora, 5, last year, prosecutors said.
He faces up to three years in prison.
"The defendant, with alcohol in his system, sped through a stop sign and slammed his car into a home, transforming the vehicle into a deadly weapon with which he seriously injured a sleeping mother and her child," District Attorney Dan Donovan said in a statement.
"He has plead guilty to the top count, thereby taking responsibility for his reckless actions, and the prison sentence is a just punishment.”
Trainor originally pleaded not guilty to the charges, but on Thursday admitted the top count of aggravated vehicular assault in St. George Supreme Court, the Staten Island Advance originally reported.
At the crash scene, Trainor blew a .07 on a breathalyzer test and later a .02 at the 120th Precinct, a law enforcement source said. The legal limit for driving is .08.
The crash trapped Micciulla-Roman and her daughter, who were sleeping on the couch, and left them with severe injuries.
"We were screaming for my baby sister," Melissa Roman told DNAinfo New York after the crash. "I was in shock. I thought I lost my baby sister."
Leonora suffered skull and eye-socket fractures as well as multiple lacerations, while Micciulla-Roman had severe burns that required two surgeries and a skin graft, the Advance said.
Since the crash, Trainor, who had no previous arrests, has been remorseful and tried to aid the victims, a law enforcement source said.
Trainor wrote a letter to Micciulla-Roman expressing remorse about the crash, and the victims are satisfied he accepted responsibility and will serve jail time, the source said.
Last year, Micciulla-Roman sued the city for $20 million for allegedly failing to maintain the roadways and intersection. The house was the site of an eerily similar crash in 2002, when a car narrowly missed a woman.
Trainor will be sentenced on Jan. 24, 2014, and faces between one and three years in prison.