Queens teen Joseph Beer pleaded not guilty to charges in the crash that killed four of his childhood friends on Columbus Day. His parents are also facing charges for allowing him to drive with just a learner's permit. Tracie Strahan reports.
The teenage driver in a crash that killed four of his friends on Long Island has been indicted for aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter and driving while impaired, authorities said Friday.
Joseph Beer, 17, of Richmond Hill, pleaded not guilty in a court appearance related to the October crash on the Southern State Parkway.
Prosecutors allege he was high on marijuana while behind the wheel of his three-week-old Subaru Imprezza as he took a curve on the Southern State Parkway at an alleged 110 mph, crossing three lanes of traffic and skidding into trees, one of which tore the car in half.
Christopher Kahn, 18, Darian Ramnarine, 19, Neal Rajapa, 17, and Peter Kanhai, 18, died in the crash. They were all ejected from the vehicle in the crash so powerful it rocked homes in the neighborhood.
The five close-knit childhood friends had graduated from the same high school in Richmond Hill.
State Police said Beer shouldn't have been behind the wheel in the first place: Beer only had a learner's permit, and according to DMV regulations, should not have been driving between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. without a parent, guardian or driving instructor who was over 21 years old.