Hasbrouck Heights Man Charged In Fatal Route 208 Crash

Passenger, 24, from North Haledon, killed in single car accident.

A 22-year-old Hasbrouck Heights man was charged with vehicular homicide Thursday after his passenger died in an early morning drunk driving crash on Route 208, authorities said.

Lukisz Skibicki was driving a 2002 Ford Taurus northbound on the highway when he failed to negotiate a bend in the road and crashed into a tree, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a news release.

His passenger, George Kantakis, 24, of North Haledon, was pronounced dead at 2:40am by a doctor from Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. Skibicki suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries, Molinelli said, and remains hospitalized at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson.

Skibicki has been charged with one count of second degree vehicular homicide, and was issued motor vehicle summonses for DWI and reckless driving.

The accident occurred near the Fair Lawn Avenue exit.

Kantakis was born in Ridgewood and grew up in North Haledon. He was a graduate of The Academy of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Franklin Lakes and Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, according to his obituary on ObitsforLife.com. He attended Bergen Community College. 

Kantakis is survived by his parents Patricia Spinnler of North Haledon and George Kantakis of Franklin Lakes; his grandparents, Robert and Theresa Spinnler of Wyckoff; and sister Theresa Ann Kantakis and John David Kantakis, according to his obituary.

He would have celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday next month.

Bernard Lyons March 30, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Excuse me??? ACCIDENT. Mr, Skibicki willfully got into the car, Started the engine and drove off knowing he was impaired by drinking too much alcohol. It's premeditated vehicular homicide and nothing else.
Manda Dee March 30, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I agree with Brit, There before the grace of God go I, which means judge not least you be judged. None of you have any right to be judging what happened and your turning a terrible tragedy that actually affects real living people into a frenzy for you posting your personal opinions about something that has nothing to do with any of you. I knew George and I know Luke too- he has to live with this none of you people should be condemning him for actions or even speaking on them in this terrible time of sorrow- shame on you! Who are you to judge him? Rest assured none of the parties involved are interested. Also, everyone who is suggesting that we should take this car and make a spectacle about it like putting it on the lawn of a high school and make an example of it, I just want to remind you other people besides kids drive drunk and get into car accidents and even if they didn't offering to make a spectacle out of this when IT JUST happened and the family and friends of the deceased are reading these comments it doesn't ease their pain, it just makes you look like a douche bag.
Tommy P March 30, 2012 at 03:54 AM
The term alcohol-related is very misleading. Quite simply it's any person "involved" had any amount of alcohol. Police are trained to document the mere suspicion. The stats you reference are over inflated due that flaw.
Joe March 30, 2012 at 04:30 AM
I agree that the car should not be made into a display in Fair Lawn or around here out of respect for the families, but it could be used effectively somewhere else. And I'm sorry but I will certainly judge someone who makes the conscious CHOICE to drink and drive. People who act like this is a tragic accident that happened to the driver are one of the reasons so many in our society still think it's OK to drink and drive. Drinking is fine. Drink all you want. But before you do, while you are still sober, make a plan for how you are going to get home.
Matt March 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM
The answer, Reverend, is no. And I blame that partly on the fact that we have a car centric culture. As long as we have to drive to the bar, we're going to have people to drive away intoxicated. And throw in weary drivers and distracted drivers and we have where we are today. Pedestrian strikes are up, fatal or life altering accidents happen far too often, and it isn't getting better. My opinion is it is time for regulators to get behind Google's self driving car project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_driverless_car). We imminently close to having the technology to let a computer drive a car more safely than most humans. Time for our government to support (through law) the commercialization of Google (or Google-like technology). I think if that becomes standard on every new car sold in the next 10 years, and the federal government encourages the addition of self driving technology to older cars through tax break subsidies, we will an incredible reduction in the statistics you cited.
Elizabeth Cox March 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM
She is grieving, leave her be- show some compassion for these young men's friends & leave it at that. why is it always attack mode on here- geez.
Beth Fernandez March 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I got a text from my best friend four years ago that said, "PJ was in an accident last night. He's dead." His friend was driving while drunk and he was dead. I was in the room when he was born, and I helped plan his funeral. We looked through his computer and found his college papers, photos with friends, jokes and dreams for the future. The reality was that she would never hug him again. She would never smell him again. He would never leave his dishes in the sink, or his shoes where she could trip over them. She left everything as it was for weeks and slept in his bed so she wouldn't miss the last lingering scent of her first born child. PJ's close circle of friends is very careful about drinking and driving. They learned quite a lesson through my friend's tragic loss. I am sure it will be the same situation here. I just wish the lesson didn't have to be learned so many times. My heart goes out to both sets of heartbroken parents. It's the worse case scenario for how we want our kid's lives to turn out.
Manda Dee March 30, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Joe and Aldolpho it's in poor taste that you choose to turn this into an argument and it reveals your true colors. I spoke out in grief and defense on the death of a dear friend and my words fell on deaf ears when I spoke of not judging other people, including myself and including you.  In a time of mourning you have shown flagrant disregard for life lost by turning this into a grindstone on which to sharpen your point. You talk about yourselves and your own selfish concerns and hide behind others, like the people who were out there that night doing their jobs, also whom like the deceased you probably don't know, and still for all this I will not Judge you.  These boys were my friends an you don't need to school me in the rights and wrongs of society. It was a tragic and senseless accident and although freedom of speech might condone your antics, I do not.  Bottom line you didn't know them, you aren't mourning them and this is not an arena for anti drunk driving agenda. 
Bruce Knuckle March 30, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Im saddened too, that in this day and age, people still get behind the wheel after drinking. Brittany, if the pictures werent there, would the accident not have happened?. Its need for educating those who still might drink and drive
Bruce Knuckle March 30, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Manda, I disagree , it was poor taste to allegedly drive drunk. Why should Adolpho and Joe be accused of having flagrant disregard for life, but the driver in this case gets a pass just because his friend happened to pay the price?
JustSaying March 30, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Adolpho, thank you for pointing out the volunteers. It isn't easy being awoken from sleep, jumping out of bed, driving to your respected building to arrive at a scene words cannot express. Nothing is worse then not being able to save someone, "we" tried our hardest and did everything "we" could do. Something harder to deal with is "we" never see or hear from the persons involved or families, "we" are residents who go to school for months, train weekly to provide these services for free and take pride in everything we do. Thank you again finally someone realized "us."
Harlan Consider March 30, 2012 at 01:16 PM
It is everyone's business to comment when you have a situation where a drunk decides to drive his car at speed on a public road. He could have killed any one of us. The economic cost of this accident affects all of us through our taxes and our insurance premiums.
Reverend Joseph A. Ianiro, Jr. DD March 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
There seems to be two issues here. One of grieving: loss of family, friends, neighbors; needless loss of life. The other is trying to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Yes we all mourn and have compassion for the grief of family and friends. My nephew was killed in a car accident in Ramsey. He bore my name.I see what it did to my family. I have seen coffins come down the aisle and mothers and fathers so full of grief that they did not know they were at their own child's funeral. Yes I have compassion and THAT is why I do not want to see it anymore. I do not want to read that yet another kid was driving drunk and killed themselves and or others. Yet another adult was driving drunk and killed themselves and or others. Kids got in the car at 2am after drinking and someone died and the same scenario will happen this 2 am somewhere in the US. Maybe it will involve 50 year olds or 18 year olds no different. Sorry~ While I offer my arms to the family and my shoulder for tears I will not sugar coat the outrage and rationalize "others do it too" or "maybe it wasn't alcohol related" Whatever it takes to prevent unnecessary death because someone was drinking should be done. ANYTHING. May the peace of the Lord be with this family.
Tim March 30, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Its, sad it a tragedy any way you look at it!!!! Give it a rest people.. I know you bored and got nothing else to do in your life other that comment and offer your great remarks on the internet..
Sheena March 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
For the families, I wish them a way to find peace and sense in the whole tragedy. I hope they can grieve and find a way to heal. That being said though, there is a way to make good things come out of every bad situation. If the toxicology reports prove that the driver was indeed buzzed or intoxicated (just so we are not taking anyone's word for it), then we have a golden opportunity to educate people. The sad truth is, people respond better to shock/tragedies and are more apt think twice about drunken driving when it's been presented to them in a very personal yet horrifying method. The idea of displaying the car is certainly gruesome for sure. I can agree that it's taste is questionable while a family is trying to mourn. But when some time passes and wounds start to heal and there is a small possibility that even one additional life might be saved by using this 'scare tactic'. it might be worth further investigating. For now, let the families mourn. I do hope they can transform this pain into something positive for others at some point in the future. Everything from the American Cancer Socity, Susan G Komen foundation, MADD, and other great causes all originated from a source of pain. In the meantime, anyone who reads this article... please be careful while doing ANYTHING after drinking.
Bernard Lyons April 03, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Who am I to judge??? I hope I get jury duty when he goes to trial and I get picked for one of his jurors. Now that is some comon sense I can wrap my arms around, Sheena. Hoorray for COMMON SENSE!
Claudio Merazzi April 03, 2012 at 04:01 PM
For some reason you keep displaying your ignorance for everyone to see. There was nothing premeditated about this tragedy and you should be ashamed of yourself for your comments. Showing excitement and wishing to be on a jury just to punish someone? This should be a time of healing for the families and friends of these two young men and not an opportunity for you to showcase your opinion. Right now you, as well as others, are so intent on preventing drunk driving , yet where are you the rest of the year? When there isn't a tragedy and a public forum for you to express your opinions? Volunteering and helping the younger generation learn about the dangers of drunk driving? Or just sitting idly by waiting for another tragedy to add your two cents to?
Marty Cone April 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Claudio, The folks that should be doing those things are the PARENTS, not Mr Lyons or any one else. HE got what he subscribed to and his friend paid dearly.
Claudio Merazzi April 03, 2012 at 05:54 PM
They have enough to go through, though im sure they wish they could have done more. In reality a parent can only do so much but a child will always have his free will. Its an easy cop out to say that they should have done those things instead of Mr Lyons, but the truth is that My Lyons and others are preaching about how bad it is but only seem to show themselves during a tragedy. So not only are they saying what is wrong, who is wrong, and everything else they can spew on a computer screen, they feel certain that they are the authority to judge what kind of punishment he should recieve. Only God has the outright say in that. For the legal system, it is a matter of laws and circumstances that must be analyzed and contemplated that will lead to an answer. Not some braggart wishing he was on the jury. I myself have known both these kids for a long time and i am uncertain of what is right, but i am positive that the cesspool of the internet and its minions are in no position to make that choice. This time should be spent for healing and grieving. Not for torches and mobs.
Curly Howard April 15, 2012 at 06:38 AM
look how about everyone stops all this nonsense everyone has their own opinion some peoples are better than others *cough* BRUCE *cough* *cough*. sure we all feel sorry for those who are affected but on the other hand they should have never went out drank as much as they did and then get into the car and drive. i mean anyone who does that signs their life away as soon as they turn that ignition on so the driver deserves to sit and rot away in jail and deal with the guilt of killing his friend and when that happens i call that good justice
Curly Howard April 18, 2012 at 05:01 AM
and by the way this was no accident as Mr. Lyons said earlier the driver who is now facing a hefty penalty for his wrong doings willfully got into that drivers seat and started driving even though he knew he was intoxicated. if you have money for alcohol you have money for a taxi or something to that extent. if worse comes to worst walk ride a bicycle or something don't drive because you will not only endanger your own life or whoever else is in your car but you are also endangering people who are out on the roadway in other vehicles. just think about this if there was someone in the way and the driver hit and killed them also he would be charged with life without possibility of parole. so this was NO accident and i am very happy that the driver will be sent to jail for this so he cannot make that choice to drive intoxicated again.
Tim April 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Without the doubt is was the drivers fault, and he should face the consequences of his own actions, and hopefully they will make an example so whoever thinks of driving intoxicated should think twice.. I just have two questions, what would happen if this guy was the son of a wealthy businessman or a powerful lawyer would he had been charged ? Second, why the passenger chose to take a ride from a drunk man ? We all said he should've driven, but the passenger shouldn't gotten in that car either.. It sad that ended this way.. I hope their families find closure, but regardless if the driver goes to jail or not wont brink him back..
erik April 23, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Funny how you all jumped too blame the kid before the toxology report. He wasent drinking and the manslaughter charges were dropped. lol self rightious morons
James C. Cantela April 23, 2012 at 05:24 PM
never assume....it makes an ASS out of U and ME.
jp1 April 23, 2012 at 06:43 PM
erik check article again this person is being charged with second degree vehicular homicide,DWI and reckless driving moron.
Harlan Consider April 23, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Who assumed?
Harlan Consider April 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Kid? He is 22. That makes him an adult. Secondly, he WAS drunk. Read the article.
Rita Jansen May 24, 2012 at 09:56 PM
i was hoping for a sense of community here. we don't have to agree, but we should be sensitive & respectful. luke was a 22 year old kid. yes, his age makes him an "adult," but do you remember being 22? having that immature sense of invincibility, of thinking nothing that bad can happen to you? luke made the choice to get behind the wheel & greg made the choice to get in the car. both parties were wrong. young & reckless. but - how is it not clear to you that luke or greg could so easily be you or someone you know? back when i was in HS we had a special assembly with a convicted DUI offender, who spoke of the pain of his accident--his own injuries, the death of his sister--& that had much more of an impact on us, as teens, than any statistics or viewings of wrecked cars. if there's any good that can come of this, it's luke helping others not make the same mistakes he did. not spreading hate. not giving up on him as a fellow human being. i'm not saying that any drunk driver should go unpunished, but we shouldn't immediately jump on a bandwagon to stone the person to death (of course, i'm being a little dramatic here, but hopefully you get the point). we should focus on sending love to both families & thinking about a way that teens can ACTUALLY learn from this (not by grotesquely displaying the car while the accident is still so fresh for those affected). no one here has a right to judge. if you have nothing to offer but hate, you should really reconsider your priorities.
Curly Howard July 17, 2012 at 04:14 AM
@Rita Jansen: rita we shouldn't be sensitive about this subject if you look up the records of drunk driving accidents most if not all drunk drivers survive and the innocent die. unfortunately those "kids" as you say were both under the influence of alcohol. i honestly think that anyone who gives these guys sympathy for their stupid and retarded actions there was no reason for them to get behind that wheel whatsoever. and we all have the right to judge a criminal.
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