A 23-year-old woman would likely have been another casualty in a tragic accident that killed four of her best friends had she not decided to pass on the bachelorette party limousine winery tour at the last minute.
Dana Carlino was invited to go with her friends on a limousine winery tour on Long Island, New York on July 18 but declined at the last minute. Carlino says she had a few weeks' notice that she could have given her job to take the day off, but she failed to do so and chose at the last second to go to work.
That decision, Carlino says, caused a small fight between her and her best friend, 24-year-old victim Lauren Baruch.
“I had weeks to plan, I had weeks to take off work, and I just didn't," Carlino said on Sunday, according to Newsday. "We had a little fight and she was kind of mad at me, but we made up and the last thing she said to me was, 'I love you so much, Dana.'”
So while her friends headed out on the limo tour that cost them their lives, Carlino headed to her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic. She says she only found out about the fatal crash after receiving a message on Facebook.
“I’m still in shock. I’m numb,” Carlino said. “I’m all cried out for right now.”
Baruch, along with Stephanie Belli, 23, Amy Grabina, 23, and Brittany Schuman, 23, died in the crash, Fox News reported. Four other women in the limo were injured, as well as the limo driver.
“[Baruch] was happy. Always had a smile on her face,” Carlino told the New York Post. “She always pushed me to be the best person that I could be.”
Steven Romeo, the 55-year-old driver of the truck that crashed into the limousine, was reportedly arrested and is being held on $500,000 cash bail, facing a DWI charge. Carlino says she is angry at Romeo and doesn’t hold back when talking about her hopes for his future.
“I want to be there and I want to look that man in the eye and I want him to know that not only did he kill my best friend, he killed a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a co-worker,” Carlino said. “I hope he rots in prison.”
The bride-to-be, who was not identified in news reports, survived the crash.
Photo Source: Screenshot via Fox News, Chicago Tribune