JEFFERSON COUNTY • A Lemay man admitted in court this week that he was high on heroin when he was involved in a January 2016 crash that killed two men. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Sokol N. Zuko, 30, of the 1900 block of Basil Drive, pleaded guilty Monday in Jefferson County Circuit Court to involuntary manslaughter and two counts of drug possession.
Authorities said Zuko was driving a 2001 Honda Accord east on Missouri Route 30 about 3:35 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2016, when he ran a red light at High Ridge Boulevard and turned left into the path of a 2009 Chevrolet Colorado driven by Daniel A. Smentkowski, 84, of House Springs.
Zuko's passenger, Frederick C. Kelly, 37, of St. Louis, was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour later. Smentkowski died the next day.
Zuko was driving on a suspended license at the time, and admitted he had used heroin and Xanax a few hours before the crash, authorities said. State troopers found several pills in Zuko's pocket that tests revealed were heroin and Xanax.
Zuko's criminal history includes at least four convictions in St. Louis for heroin possession dating to 2010, court records say.
Assistant prosecutor Thomas Hollingsworth plans to recommend that Zuko be sentenced to 20 years in prison and that one count of manslaughter be dropped, court records say. Zuko will be sentenced Oct. 12 by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mark Stoll.