Sophia Santos, the 20-year-old daughter of Hall of Fame jockey Jose Santos, is being held on a $1 million bond in a Nassau County, NY jail and faces charges of driving under the unfluence and second-degree vehicular manslaughter after she was involved in a Nov. 11 car accident that left one woman dead and another in critical condition.
Nassau County Police told the Associated Press that Santos, a resident of Albertson, NY, was drunk shortly before 2:30 a.m. Nov. 11, when she allegedly plowed the luxury car she was driving (a 2006 Mercedes Benz) into another car at the intersection of Wantagh Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown, NY. Virginia Casazza Urgo, who had been celebrating her 62nd birthday, was sitting in the back seat of the car that was hit, police said. She died at the scene of the accident.
According to a report from Newsday, Uro's husband, John Urgo, was hospitalized at Nassau University Medial Center with a broken back and jaw. Her sister, 53-year-old Linda Chapman, was also hospitalized and listed in critical condition with a crushed pelvis and a collapsed lung, Newsday said. Their driver, Nancy Tumminello, of Elmont, and passenger William Clarkin, 56, were treated for injuries at NUMC and released, as was Santos.
According to Kelly Wietsma of Equisponse, the public relations firm that manages Jose Santos' business affairs, the jockey has been in Chile for the past two weeks to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his father's death. Santos retired from racing this summer due to injuries suffered in a February spill at Aqueduct.
"Jose was devastated by the news,” said Wietsma. "At this point, we're still trying to sort through all the facts. All Jose knows for sure is that his daughter was involved in a devastating accident in which somebody was killed. His heart goes out to the families involved, and he’ll be back as soon as possible to personally deal with the situation.”
The Daily Racing Form reported that, according to media outlets, Sophia Santos did not have a drivers' license. She is scheduled to appear in court again Nov. 14, and if sentenced faces up to seven years in prison. According to the Associated Press, her attorney said after her court appearance that his client was not guilty.