An Indian-origin man who allegedly drove wrong-way at over 150 kmph has been charged in a crash that killed two teens here in a local suburb, according to media reports.
Amandeep Singh, 34, was produced in court on Monday to face 15 charges including aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene, and driving while drunk and impaired in connection with the crash month, according to CBS New YorkTV.
One of the victims was a nationally ranked tennis champion in the 14-and-under category.
Public Prosecutor Anne Donnely said: “Four hours after the crash the defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was allegedly 0.15 and also revealed the presence of cocaine”, New York Post reported.
In New York, a BAC level above 0.05 is considered an impairment of the driver.
Donnely, according to CBS New York, said that he was travelling “95 miles an hour (152 kph), going in the wrong direction in a supercharged pickup truck. The posted speed limit in that location is 40 miles per hour (64 kmph)”. His vehicle slammed into an Alfa Romeo in which four teens were travelling and two of them died.
The accident took place in Jericho, about 50 km from New York City.
According to CBS New York, Singh’s lawyer James Kousouros said: “My client and his family have not spoken out. They do want the families to know just how heartbroken they are”. Singh has denied the charges.
Donnelly said that Singh, who escaped “relatively unscathed”, fled the accident site and was caught hiding behind a large trash container in a nearby shopping centre.
According to LongIsland.com, one of the victims, Drew Hassenbein, was a national tennis player in the 14-and-under ranks and had been ranked No. 1 in the US in the 12-and-under.
Hassenbein’s family is setting up a charitable organisation to provide “underprivileged” children with tennis lessons and scholarships and has raised nearly $325,000, according to gofundme.com.