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Driver in Fatal Crash Admits to Drug Use Before Driving

LongIsland.com

Joseph Beer, the 17-year-old driver in the fatal car crash early Sunday morning, which killed 4 of his childhood friends, has left the hospital and has admitted to investigators that the group smoked marijuana before ...

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Four 18-year-old males from Richmond High School were killed in a car crash on a portion of the Southern State Parkway called the “Dead Man’s Curve” early Sunday morning near Malverne.  The driver of the vehicle, 17-year-old Joseph Beer, survived the crash and is being treated at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola.  

The victims, Peter Anthony, Neil Rajaba, Darian Ramnarine and Chris Khan, died instantly.  They were pronounced dead at the scene.  
 
Beer was driving a 2012 Subaru Impreza, a gift from his parents for graduating early from Richmond High School and his early enrollment at St. John’s University.  Friends and neighbors described Beer as a smart, straight-A student, not one to get into trouble.  
 
At the time of the accident Beer was driving with only Learner’s Permit.  According to New York State law, a licensed adult over the age of 21 must be present in the vehicle in order for someone with a Learner’s Permit to operate a vehicle.  
 
It is still unknown where the teens were travelling when they were heading westbound on the parkway at 3:40 a.m. Police officials said Beer, who should not have been driving, “failed to negotiate a curve” and drove his car into trees on the side of the road where it split in two.  All five occupants were ejected from the vehicle.  
 
Though Beer was not driving lawfully, the stretch of road is known to be especially perilous.  After police reopened the parkway between exits 17 and 19, two other single-vehicle crashes occurred in the same stretch on Monday.  
 
Classmates and friends of the victims visited the site where the crash occurred on Monday.  Beer, who left the hospital Wednesday, has already spoken with investigators and has been informed of the death of his friends.  He said he lost control of his vehicle, and admitted that the group were smoking marijuana before hitting the road.  
 
Crash reconstruction and toxicology tests, expected to take weeks to complete,  will be used by investigators and prosecutors to determine if charges will be brought against Beer.
 
 
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