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07/05/2024
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Suspected drunk driver in deadly Deer Park nail salon crash arraigned

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Source: Photo by Bru-nO from Pixabay

The man accused in the drunken driving crash that killed four people at a Long Island nail salon appeared before a judge on Monday as family members of the victims expressed their anger and grief, ABC News 7 reports.

 

Steven Schwally, 64, is charged with driving with intoxication and crashing through the front glass door of Hawaii Nail Spa in Deer Park on Friday. The crash resulted in the deaths of three beloved staff members and 34-year-old off-duty NYPD Officer Emilia Rennhack, who was getting her nails done for a wedding that night.

 

The other victims were identified as Jiancai "Ken" Chen, 37, of Bayside, Queens, and employees Yan Xu, 41, and Meizi Zhang, 50, both of Flushing, Queens. Nine other people were injured, including a 12-year-old girl.

 

Schwally was held on $1 million cash bail at his arraignment Monday afternoon in Central Islip.

 

Prosecutors revealed that Schwally, a Marine Corps veteran, is currently living at a Motor Inn in Commack. He told police he had consumed 18 beers the night before the crash and stopped drinking at 4 a.m. Prosecutors described Schwally as speeding in the parking lot and swerving before the crash. At the time of his arrest, his speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and his breath smelled of alcohol.

 

Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Alexander Bopp stated that prosecutors will present the case to a grand jury to consider homicide charges.

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