Friends Create Makeshift Memorial for Crash Victims

Sole survivor of crash that killed four teens released from hospital as authorities await toxicology results.

"R.I.P. Peter, Cak, Neal, Darian." 

The names of the four Richmond Hill teens who were killed in the horrific car accident near Exit 17N of the Southern State Parkway Monday morning were spray-painted on Taylor Road in West Hempstead, just steps away from the crash site, along with the initials for Rest in Peace.

Above the names, a white arrow points to a nearby tree on the shoulder of the Southern State Parkway, where friends of the four victims -- Christopher Khan, 18, Neal Rajapa, 17, Peter Kanhai,18, and Darian Ramnarine, 18, -- recently created a makeshift memorial. At the foot of the tree they placed candles and flowers, and assembled a pile of the victims' personal possessions -- sneakers, sandals, Metro cards, gym passes, packs of Newport cigarettes, body spray and a striped sweater -- found in the wreckage, and pieces of the mangled 2012 Subaru Impreza, which split in half when the vehicle slammed into several trees after leaving the parkway.

The driver and sole survivor of the crash, Joseph Beer, 17, of Queens, reportedly failed to negotiate the curve in the road around 3:40 a.m. on Oct. 8 and lost control of the car. he was driving with a learner's permit. Although his passengers were ejected from the vehicle, Beer only suffered a head injury and was able to walk away from the crash. It appears wearing his seat belt may have saved his life. He was treated at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola and released the following evening. 

Beer has not been charged in the accident at this time but according to The Wall Street Journal, investigators are seeking to expedite toxicology tests on him. Citing an unnamed law enforcement official, the WJS reported:

"Authorities have begun the process of getting a blood screen to detect any intoxicants in the system of Joseph Beer ... Toxicology tests typically take weeks to complete, but investigators Tuesday were trying to expedite the process and hoped to have results back within a few days."

Some news reports have alleged that Beer was high on on marijuana during the accident, but authorities have not confirmed this. 

A law enforcement source told The New York Post, "We believe it was pot, and we are awaiting test results ...Responders to the crash noticed an odor of marijuana to the vehicle." 

Funeral services were held Wednesday morning for Christopher Khan in South Ozone Park, where hundreds gathered to mourn the 18-year-old who "always had a smile on his face," reports The Queens Courier. Services for Darian Ramnarine will take place at the same funeral home this evening.

fredo October 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Know what - some "mistakes" are criminal. This is one of them. I hope they throw the book at him. That could have been anyone's son or daughter in the car with him, and it is a miracle he didnt kill any other innocent person on the road that night. Letting him off sends a message that it's ok to drive 100 MPH without a license at 4am (and that's assuming he wasnt stoned). How stupid do you have to be to not know the danger - that's criminal stupidiity and he deserves to be locked up for a long time if for no other reason than to protect the rest of us. Save your efforts and collect money for legal fees, he's gonna need them.
Mohan October 13, 2012 at 07:48 PM
All you people saying "he already suffered enough" are jus as incapable of thinking as these boys. So it's ok to drive with a learner permit late at night? It's ok to crash kill people and because you suffered some injury, be let loose. His parents should be held accountable too. Why is your 17 year old son driving? And let's be real, everyone wants to act all innocent and say they are good boys and so on. WE ALL KNOW THEY WERE SMOKING WEED AND THOUGHT THEY WERE RACE CAR DRIVERS. To all the people saying he knew how to drive. Obviously NOT.
sharleene perez-anderson October 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I agree with most of the comments. He should be held accountable and so should his parents for buying a vehicle like the one he crashed. They should have waited until he got his license, then buy him an older car and stipulate that it's only for driving to school and not for anything else. If they wanted to hang out or go to the movies, which is where they said they were going, they should have taken mass transit. The parents should have made sure he didn't take the car that night. They are at fault too. I feel bad that he doesn't remember them, but he's got to pay for his actions.
S.P. October 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Really sad... Everyone should have been wearing seatbelts. Seat belts save lives!!
Tara Conry November 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM
UPDATE: http://patch.com/A-z96T


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