NEW YORK, CMC – Four Guyanese teenagers were killed on Monday when their car, driven by a 17-year-old with only a learner’s permit, sped off a Long Island highway, wrapping itself around a tree.
New York State Police officials said that Joseph Beer, of the Richmond Hill section of Queens, lost control of the 2012 Subaru Imprezza that friends said his parents just bought for him after he “failed to negotiate a curve.”
The car, which Beer received from his parents for graduating early from Richmond Hill High School, split in two.
The other Richmond Hill residents, Peter Anthony, Chris Khan, Neil Rajaba and Darian Ramnarine — all 18, three of them popular graduates of Richmond Hill High School, were killed instantly and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Beer survived and was being treated at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, Long Island, cops said.
“About 20 of us went to identify the body,” Khan’s grieving dad, Somdat Bhawan, 41, told reporters. “We are a large family. We stick together in moments like this.”
Police said Beer should not have been at the wheel in the first place, adding that drivers with learner permits are prohibited from driving unless accompanied by a supervising driver, age 21 or older, who has a valid license.
Lakeview Fire Department Chief Heather Senti said that stretch of the parkway in Long Island is especially dangerous, disclosing that there have been two other single-vehicle crashes at the same spot on Monday.
“Unfortunately, it has its own nickname of ‘dead man’s curve’ because it comes up so quickly, and it’s such a sharp turn,” she said.
Police said it’s not clear where Beer and his friends were coming from, but they were heading westbound around 3:40 a.m. on the parkway when the Subaru suddenly roared off the highway and into some trees in Malverne, Long Island.