Monday, October 4, 2010
Midwood, NY - Boy, 16, Charged In Crash That Killed 13-Year-Old Passenger
A 13-year-old girl was killed Sunday when a teenager driving her and her brother home barreled into a Brooklyn house at high speed, cops said.
Sarah Erdan of Brooklyn was taken to Kings County Hospital, where she died of major head injuries shortly after the horrific 1:45 p.m. crash in Midwood.
"I can't believe this is happening!" Sarah's heartbroken mother screamed when she arrived at the hospital. "This is a dream."
Cops said the driver of the minivan, 16-year-old Eric Hakimisefat of Brooklyn, only had a state-issued junior driver's permit, which requires a parent or guardian to be with him when he drives. Such a permit also forbids the driver from having more than one passenger younger than 21 in the car.
Police estimated that the minivan was going at least 63 mph on E. 23rd St. - twice the speed limit on the one-way, single-lane strip - when Hakimisefat lost control just around the corner from Sarah's Quentin Road house.
"It was this huge, colossal crash," said one neighbor, who didn't want to give her name. "You couldn't fathom exactly what happened."
The minivan crashed into the rear of a parked car, sideswiped a tree and plowed through a fence before slamming into the porch of a house at 1620 E. 23rd St.
"I heard a big bang. The car was in the porch," said neighbor Nina Einhorn, 24, who called 911.
Einhorn said the driver and Sarah's 16-year-old brother staggered from the crushed van. They tried desperately to pull Sarah from the van, but she was trapped in the rear seat.
"They were screaming, 'Help her! Help her!'" said Einhorn. "She [Sarah] was crying in the car, but then we couldn't hear her anymore."
Firefighters pulled the girl from the van.
"She's a beautiful, charming, creative girl," said Rachel Bonayan, a neighbor of Sarah's Orthodox Jewish family.
Bonayan said Sarah was the youngest of four Erdan children.
"Everybody loved her," Bonayan said.
Mayer Berger of the group Chesed Shel Emes, which prepares members of the Jewish community for burial, said he tried to console Sarah's family at the hospital.
"They were devastated," Berger said. "They can't believe what happened. The mom was screaming, 'I can't believe this is happening! This is a dream.'"
Sarah's brother, whose name was not immediately released, and Hakimisefat were treated for minor injuries at Kings County Hospital and released. Hakimisefat was being held at the 61st Precinct stationhouse early this morning.
Hakimisefat was charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving, speeding and operating a motor vehicle out of class. He passed a Breathalyzer test, police said.
Sarah's family was planning Sunday night to hold her funeral Monday at 1 p.m. in Borough Park.