“I tried to open the door for Sephora, and I couldn’t get her out.”
That’s what family friend Sonia Michel says grieving widow Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane was repeating all day Sunday. Early that morning, she watched helplessly as her husband, Ancio Ostane, 37, and their two children, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4, met their tragic fate after being fatally trapped in a burning vehicle.
According to the New York Daily News, the family of four was traveling along the Southern State Parkway after leaving a family gathering at a relative’s home on Eastern Long Island. As the St. Albans residents passed the Bay Shore exit of the highway at approximately 1:30 am, 24-year-old O’Neil Sharpe’s 2008 BMW slammed into their vehicle. Sharpe, who police say was under the influence of alcohol, then left the scene.
Bouaz-Ostane was able to get out of the family’s Toyota; however, she was unable to rescue her husband and two children, who remained trapped inside.
“It makes you question why do people get behind the wheel, why do people do stupid things like that, you’ve torn apart a family,” Michel said.
Bouaz-Ostone, who works as a blood technician, and her husband, a math teacher, moved to the St. Albans neighborhood after migrating from Haiti 20 years ago. Just two months ago, the family celebrated 7-year-old Andy’s first communion.
Since Sunday’s accident, Bouaz-Ostane has been described as “inconsolable” but “strong.” Relatives of the heartbroken mom and wife have also been trying to remain optimistic.
“(Bouaz-Ostane’s) siblings were saying, one good thing that could come from this, if we can shine the light on drunk driving and what it does, how it just rips people apart, it rips families apart,” Michel said.
Sharpe has been charged with DWI and leaving the scene of a crime.