Five teenagers died in a car accident that involved a 16-year-old driver who did not have a license or permit and may have dozed off or been distracted before the SUV drove off a New York highway, officials said on Monday.
At 12:20 in the morning, the automobile rounded a curve on the highway and went straight, hitting a boulder and then a tree.
George Latimer, the county executive for Westchester, announced on Sunday. He claimed that speed doesn’t seem to have played a role.
“Five teenagers lost their lives in the crash. Whatever the specifics, that is a tragedy, Latimer remarked. It was an awful accident scene.
The victims, three boys and two girls were named as the 16-year-old driver Malik Smith, Anthony Billips Jr., 17, Zahnyiah Cross, 12, Shawnell Cross, 11, and 8-year-old Andrew Billips. According to Latimer, they featured two sets of siblings.
The lone survivor was a 9-year-old boy who was the sixth passenger in the SUV.
He reportedly managed to escape the burning 2021 Nissan Rogue while riding in the back cargo compartment with the assistance of a Westchester County police officer who arrived first and discovered the car in flames.
The youngster was sent to a hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.
“He recently saw the deaths of five family members. As a young boy, this must be an impossible circumstance for him.
Hence, Latimer stated that it is probably inappropriate for you or me to ask him the questions we want to know.
A family member had leased the SUV. Officials were investigating the boy’s access to the vehicle.
Who is to blame is less of a priority right now than figuring out exactly what happened, according to Latimer.
Terrence Raynor, the county’s public safety commissioner, stated that the probe is not “criminal in character. ”
“As you might expect, this family is troubled by the occurrence, and we’ve discussed it. There will be numerous follow-up discussions with the family, though.
Therefore, they have been receptive to our inquiries at this stage. Yet this inquiry still needs a lot more work, Raynor said.
After the children crashed in Scarsdale, New York, Latimer speculated that they might have been traveling from New Jersey to Derby, Connecticut, where they are thought to have recently relocated.
The youngsters had recently relocated from New York but had not yet enrolled in the Derby school system, according to Matt Conway, the head of schools in Derby, who announced on Sunday. Conway claimed that on Sunday, he contacted a parent and offered to give him information about the community resources available to help him and his family.