Jamel Turner Photo: Suffolk County District Attorney's Office handout

The driver of a stolen vehicle who caused a fiery crash that killed five members of a Riverhead family last year pleaded guilty yesterday to five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and other crimes in Suffolk County Criminal Court.

Jamel Turner, 25, of Bellport, was impaired by drugs on Feb. 14, 2018 when he drove a Chevrolet Camaro SS at 154 mph eastbound on Route 25 in Ridge when he crashed into an eastbound Mazda at about 11:20 a.m., according to Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini.

The Camaro, which had been reported stolen, then struck an oil truck traveling westbound. The Mazda struck a 1999 Infiniti traveling eastbound.

The four passengers in the Mazda, who were identified as Jacquelyn McCoy, 55, of Calverton; her daughter, Mary Alice Booker, 36, of Riverhead; McCoy’s son, Anthony McCoy, 33, and his girlfriend, Tameka Foster, 42, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. The cause of death for all four victims was determined to be blunt force trauma and thermal injuries, indicating that they were still alive following the impact, Sini said.

Lonidell Skinner, 19, of Bellport, who was a passenger in the Camaro, was ejected from the vehicle on impact and was pronounced dead at the scene. Turner’s dog, Prince, was also ejected from the Camaro and died.

Turner pleaded guilty today to five counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a class B felony; six counts of Assault in the First Degree, a class B violent felony; one count of Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, an unclassified misdemeanor. He also pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class B felony, in connection with selling cocaine on three occasions in August and September 2017, the district attorney said.

He faces a sentence of 27 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced by Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho on May 7, Sini said.

“Our job is to deliver justice on behalf of the victims and their families; this is a significant sentence that does just that,” Sini said.

“This is a dangerous individual, and he will now be off the streets for a very long time,” he said.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.