Manhasset man gets 3-9 years for fatal high-speed crash

Posted: Updated:
MINEOLA -

A Manhasset man involved in a high-speed racing crash that killed his friend was sentenced Wednesday to three to nine years in prison.

The judge told 22-year-old Jonnathan Santos that he was "young and stupid" when he caused the Long Island Expressway crash that killed 19-year old Giannfranco Peralta, who Santos called his "best friend."

Peralta's sister and mother were in the Mineola courtroom as Santos was sentenced. He pleaded guilty last year to manslaughter and driving while ability impaired by alcohol and drugs. Prosecutors say Santos and another driver were racing at speeds of 120 mph when they crashed near Exit 44. Peralta was ejected from Santos' car and killed.

Before sentencing, Santos tried to read a prepared statement, apologizing to the victim's family. But he couldn't get through it; he was sobbing too much. He asked his attorney to read it instead.

"I know that nothing that I say or do will bring him back," the statement reads. "I was young and stupid at the time of the accident and it cost the life of my best friend."

Santos' attorney says his client has worked for the last two years to turn his life around but "will be judged by probably the worst moment in his life."

Peralta's family didn't speak to reporters. In court, the prosecutor read a statement from them saying the last two years have been an "indescribable experience, more like a disaster," with "not a bit of joy, no celebration" at the holidays.

Santos' attorney says his client has always expressed remorse over the crash.

The other driver, Areefeen Hirji, of Muttontown, initially left the scene of the crash but was later arrested. He was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced in February to 3 1/2 to 10 1/2 years in prison.

Read more: 
Trial begins for man accused of leaving scene of fatal LIE crash
Teen arrested in connection to deadly Woodbury crash
Driver charged in LIE crash that killed passenger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Monday, October 7 2019 12:12 PM EDT2019-10-07 16:12:23 GMT
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
  • Your Kids Corner Photos

    Your Kids Corner Photos

    Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.
    Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.Looking for something fun to do with the kids this weekend? News 12 has you covered.
    Did you do something fun with your kids this weekend? Share your adventure with us!
    Did you do something fun with your kids this weekend? Share your adventure with us!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."