Freeport man sentenced for deadly DWI crash


Juan De Leon Collado, of Freeport, was sentenced to up to 21 years in prison for a fatal wrong-way drunk driving collision in Massapequa Park on Nov. 6 2022.

Collado, 30, pleaded guilty in November to charges including aggravated vehicular homicide and assault. The sentence, handed down by Judge Howard Sturim, reflects the severity of the incident that claimed the lives of two men and left another seriously injured, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s office,

Collado, who was under the influence of alcohol, drove his 2003 Honda CRV west in the eastbound lanes of Sunrise Highway near Park Boulevard. His cousin, Amaury Ramirez Lora, 29, was in the front passenger seat. Collado continued in the wrong direction for half a mile before colliding head-on with a 2022 Honda Civic.

Nicholas Berardino Jr., a 24-year-old passenger in the Civic, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Civic’s driver suffered extensive injuries, including a fractured hip, and was taken to Nassau University Medical Center. Lora had been trapped in the Honda CRV when emergency personnel arrived on the scene and had to be extricated. He succumbed to injuries from the accident on Nov. 20, 2022.

The crash left both vehicles significantly damaged. Collado, who had been drinking at a local sports bar in Farmingdale before the incident, was unconscious and taken to NUMC for his injuries, including internal bleeding.

"The moment he turned the key to his car, Juan De Leon Collado condemned two innocent men to die,” District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a news release. “Drunk driving is at epidemic levels on Long Island. [The] NCDA continues to prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law to remind drivers everywhere: drunk driving costs lives.”

County officials said the district attorney’s office is committed to prosecuting such cases to the fullest extent.