Five Connecticut minors have been identified as victims of a car crash that occurred on Sunday. According to Daily Voice, the crash took place on Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale, New York.
More Details About The “Horrific” Car Crash
According to the outlet, the crash occurred around 12:20 a.m. on Sunday via the northbound Hutchinson River Parkway. Five minors were inside a 2021 Nissan Rogue SUV when it “went off the parkway near the Mamaroneck Road exit.”
The vehicle reportedly struck a boulder, then a tree, and caught on fire.
The Underage Victims Of The Car Crash Have Been Identified
According to police, the vehicle was driven by a 16-year-old boy. His identity was later revealed as Malik Smith by Westchester County Executive George Latimer during a press conference on Monday.
Latimer also confirmed that the vehicle’s speed was within the limit of 55 miles per hour. However, Smith did not have a Connecticut nor a New York driver’s license or permit.
Latimer also explained that when the driver encountered a left curve in the roadway, he continued to drive straight forward instead of curving with it. This resulted in the vehicle’s collision with the boulder and tree.
The Westchester County executive explained that evidence obtained from the scene has revealed that Smith may have been asleep at the wheel. Or he was distracted.
The identities of fellow passengers have also been released as Anthony Billips, Jr., 17; Andrew Billips, 8; Zahnyiah Cross, 16; Shawnell Cross, 11. Latimer confirmed that there were “two sets” of siblings among the victims.
Heartbreaking photos show five children killed in NY crash https://t.co/hRTy0iged9 pic.twitter.com/OH8zL1SISY
— New York Post (@nypost) March 20, 2023
Additionally, all have been identified as residents of Derby, Connecticut.
Their cause of death has been determined as “blunt force trauma.”
1 Child Survived The Car Crash
One child, a nine-year-old boy, survived the car crash. According to the outlet, the child was riding in the car’s “hatchback/cargo area” and escaped out of a rear window.
During a press conference on Monday, Public Safety Commissioner Terrance Raynor explained that the child was taken to Westchester Medical Center and treated for lacerations on his body.
During Monday’s press conference, the officials identified the child as Abraham Billips, 9.
According to Daily Voice, one of the children’s parents, Da’Shawna Cross, has started a GoFundMe campaign to help bury the five deceased children. A brief statement from Cross can be read in the campaign’s description.
Hi, my name is Da’Shawna Cross I am making a fundraiser to help bury our children we lost, we as parents lost 5 of our children in a very tragic accident and need help deeply with giving them a great home going service please anything will help we just want to put our babies to rest
At the time of this report, the campaign has raised over $36,000 of a $50,000 goal.
The Investigation Into The Crash Is Ongoing
Furthermore, the Westchester County Police Accident Investigation Team and detectives from the General Investigations Unit are handling the investigation. They determined that the vehicle Smith was driving was rented by a family relative. However, it is unclear how Malik Smith gained access to it.
Authorities have also not yet determined where the vehicle was driving from, nor its destination. They have also not yet determined if the passengers were all wearing seatbelts.
According to a report from NBC Connecticut, the Superintendent of Schools in Derby revealed that the children and their families recently relocated to the city and were not yet enrolled in school there.
Additionally, no other vehicles were involved in the crash.