An elderly couple and a teen were killed in a car crash following a high-speed police chase near New York City.
A 17-year-old driver, Nahriek Belford, crashed into another vehicle during the chase, killing a 74-year-old man and his 71-year-old wife, reported the New York Post on Feb. 9. The incident took place at 11:50 p.m. at Route 25 and Birchwood Park Drive in Middle Island, Long Island.
The 19-year-old passenger in Belford’s car, Angelo, also died, officials said.
Fatal car accident in Middle Island Saturday February 9, 2019. Numeroous people were reported killed in a multi-car…
Suffolk County police saw the teen, Belford, run through a stop sign. The Nissan Rogue he was driving was reported stolen two days before the accident, police told the Post.
When police tried to pull Belford over, he drove away and a chase ensued. They chased Belford and his two passenger to Route 25 where Bedford hit a Honda CRV driven by the elderly couple.
Angelo and the elderly couple were pronounced dead at the scene.
MIDDLE ISLAND MULTIPLE FATAL CAR ACCIDENT BIRCHWOOD PARK DR AND MIDDLE CTY RD THE IMPACT SPLIT SUV IN HALF .CRIME SCENE ROADWAY CLOSED FOR HOURS 2-9-19 11;52 PM pic.twitter.com/tIbb3YgFvs
— OnScenePhotography (@onsceneprez) February 10, 2019
Bedford and his second passenger, 16-year-old Jaquell Funderburke, sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital, the Post reported.
As the driver, Bedford was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment. Additional charges are pending, police said.
The elderly couple have been identified as Jerome and Randee Weingarten in local news reports.
“As a department, our heartfelt condolences go out to the Weingarten family in this tragic, tragic accident,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said, CBS NY reported.
Belford’s stepmother, Wyteria Belford, said she was shocked by the incident and expressed her condolences to the victims’ families, ABC7 reported.
Anyone who may have seen the crash can contact the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555 or anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.
According to CBS, an investigation revealed that the plates on the stolen Nissan had been switched.
Three people died when a driver fleeing police crashed into another car. The driver survived and is facing charges. Read more: http://cbsloc.al/2WPTKgW
Other details about the crash are not clear. The investigation is continuing.
Traffic Deaths Down Across US in 2018
U.S. traffic deaths fell 3.1 percent in the first six months of 2018, according to preliminary figures released in October 2018, Reuters reported.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that traffic deaths in 2017 fell by 1.8 percent to 37,133 after traffic deaths rose sharply in the previous two years, according to final figures. The U.S. traffic fatality rate fell to 1.08 deaths per 100 million miles traveled for the first half of 2018.
The fatality rate in 2017 was 1.16 million deaths per 100 million miles traveled—the second highest rate since 2008.
“This is good news and bad news,” said Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council, CNBC reported. “The total number of fatalities is not getting worse, but the situation is not getting better.”
Hersman cited distracted driving and higher speed limits for the number. “There are a number of states that have raised speed limits, some now have stretches at 80 or 85 miles per hour,” she said in the CNBC report.
In Texas, for example, she estimated that traffic fatalities jumped 7 percent from 2015 to 2017, in part due to higher speed limits in the state.
“We know it’s happening even though distracted driving data is hard to come by,” she said of drivers using smartphones while behind the wheel. “Police reports on accidents often don’t report if the driver was distracted and in many accidents, people don’t self-report themselves.”