A teenager in Long Island has reportedly pleaded guilty to over twelve charges dating back to a street racing crash that killed five other teens in 2014. The car accident involved two vehicles that New York authorities attest were involved in a street race at the time of the crash. It appears the teen will be sentenced to six months in prison following an agreement with prosecutors, though the full potential penalty is five to 15 years.
According to the accident report, the teen, then 17, was apparently racing another vehicle in Nassau County when the other car entered oncoming traffic. That car then collided with an SUV. The crash killed the five teenagers in the car and severely injured the SUV driver and a passenger in the SUV.
The 17-year-old, who had apparently incited the race, was indicted in 2015 on charges including criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, reckless endangerment, assault and leaving the scene. All told, he faced 17 charges and pleaded guilty to all of them. He entered his plea at a State Supreme Court on Mar. 10 of this year.
It is entirely possible that the families of the other deceased teenagers, as well as the injured victims, might take umbrage with the relatively light sentence the teen appears to be facing in light of his involvement with this tragic car accident. Six months of a possible fifteen-year sentence may not sit well once the trial has ended. However, New York law will allow those families to sue for wrongful death against the boy, his family and anyone else with ownership interest in the vehicle involved. Likewise, the injured victims who were in the SUV may file personal injury claims against those deemed responsible for the wreck.
Source: The New York Times, “Long Island Teenager Pleads Guilty in Deadly Drag-Racing Crash“, Rick Rojas, March 11, 2016