A 22-year-old Brooklyn man was allegedly intoxicated at double the legal limit when he ran a red light T-boned a Lyft driver in Queens early Sunday, forcing the rideshare vehicle through a nearby brick wall, prosecutors said Monday.
The victim, a 48-year-old father of three identified as Mohammed Houssain, died. His passenger, who was in the backseat, suffered a broken femur in the collision. He was treated at a hospital for his injuries.
The suspect was arraigned Monday on charges of manslaughter, assault, criminally negligent homicide and other offenses in Houssain's death. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Jarring gas station video shows the moment the 22-year-old suspect's speeding Ford Explorer shoots across Eliot Avenue in Maspeth around 3:50 a.m. and T-bones Houssain's car. Prosecutors say he didn't have a valid New York license and that the plate number of the black Ford SUV he was driving didn't have a valid registration.
"The rules of the road exist to save lives. As alleged, this defendant ignored them and made selfish, illegal decisions from the moment he got behind the wheel of the car, with tragic results," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement Monday. "Now, a hardworking family man is dead, his widow, children and community are in mourning and the defendant faces justice in the Courts.”
Syed Ahmed, Houssain's brother-in-law, told News 4 hours after the crash that "the whole family is devastated."
Family members described Houssain as a hardworking family man who helped his other brother-in-law pay for nursing school.
The youngest of Houssain's children still doesn't know what happened to him.
"I don't know how to tell my niece. She doesn't know why we're crying. She's 8 years old. She can't understand the concept. My nephew's scared. He's in denial and we just don't know where to go from here," Houssain's other brother-in-law, Rezaul Rahman, said through tears.
In a statement, a Lyft spokesperson said, "We are heartbroken by this incident. Our hearts are with the driver's loved ones during this incredibly difficult time, and we are ready to assist law enforcement however we can."