A Queens man charged with smoking marijuana before driving during a high-speed crash was found guilty by a Nassau County jury on Friday. Joseph Beer was 17 at the time of the crash that killed four of his friends.
According to the Nassau County District Attorney, Beer was driving at speeds of over 110 miles per hour at the time of the crash in 2012. Beer, 19, was found guilty of four counts of Manslaughter 2nd degree, Reckless Endangerment 2nd degree and Reckless Driving.
Beer is due back in court on June 24, and will be facing a maximum sentencing of five to 15 years in prison.
The crash happened on October 8, 2012 at approximately 3:35 a.m. Beer was driving a 2012 Subaru Impreza westbound on the Southern State Parkway. There were four passengers in the car as he approached Exit 17N in Malverne. He lost control of the car and skidded 200 feet across three lanes of traffic and hit a tree.
The car was torn in half and all four passengers were killed. Darian Ramnarine, 18, of Inwood; Peter Kanhai, 18, of South Ozone Park; Neal Rajapa, 17, of South Ozone Park; and Christopher Kahn, 18, of Ozone Park were thrown from the vehicle. Beer suffered minor injuries and admitted to smoking marijuana before driving.
Beer only possessed a learner’s permit at the time of the accident and was not permitted to be on the road between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. He was also charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a License, a charge that was not decided by the jury and will be decided by the court.
“Mr. Beer may have been looking to go on a joyride that night, but all he caused was despair for the families of the four teens he killed by choosing to speed down a public parkway after smoking marijuana,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
[Source: Nassau County District Attorney]