FARMINGDALE (WABC) -- The driver charged with street racing another vehicle that crashed on Long Island, killing five teens, pleaded guilty to all charges Thursday and is expected to be sentenced to six months in prison.
Nineteen-year-old Cory Gloe pleaded guilty to five counts of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and five counts of criminally-negligent homicide, as well as other charges of reckless driving, reckless endangement and leaving the scene of an accident.
The crash happened in May of 2014, claiming the lives of 17-year-old Tristan Reichle, 18-year-old Jesse Romero, 14-year-old Carly Lonnborg, 15-year-old Noah Francis and 17-year-old Cody Talanian.
According to detectives, a 2001 Nissan driven by Reichle was traveling westbound on Conklin Street in Farmingdale when the vehicle crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck by GMC Suburban operated by a 53-year-old man. There were five people inside Reichle's vehicle, two of whom were ejected. Four victims died immediately after the accident, while the fifth died at the hospital the next day.
Prosecutors allege that Gloe stopped at a red light in the lane next to Reichle, challenging him to a race several times. When the traffic signal turned green, the two cars crossed Route 110 and were racing each other westbound on Conklin Street when Reichle lost control.
All five victims attended Farmingdale High School, though one was a former student.
The driver and female passenger of the Suburban were injured but survived.
The defense argued that the crash was the fault of Reichle, who they say was alcohol-impaired, and that there was no proof that speeding took place.
The judge said he would treat Gloe as youthful offender at sentencing, meaning his record would be sealed and he would not have a criminal record as an adult. He was 17 at the time.
The families of the victims were angered over the deal, speaking out over what they view as unfair leniency.
"He was young, he did stupid things, but he needs to know you cannot do these things," said Mark McGlone, an uncle of one of the victims. "You can't go out and take a car and have fun with it and make it a potential weapon."
Prosecutors say they plan to fight the youthful offender status.
"What kind of message are they sending to these other kids out there?" McGlone said. "You can go out there and do whatever you want? No, you can't."
Still, Gloe's attorney argued it was the correct decision.
"My client has taken full responsibility for his role in this very tragic and very sad incident," Stephen LaMagna said. "We are hopeful that the beginning of the healing process can begin for all the people involved."
Such a prospect is difficult for those who lost their loved ones.
"Nothing is going to change, and nothing is going to bring them back," said Celeste Tziamihas, who is Noah Francis' sister. "But I just wish there was a little more justice for what we've lost."
Sentencing is scheduled for May 20. null
Street racing driver in Farmingdale crash that killed 5 pleads guilty, expected to get 6 months