New York

Man on Xanax Faces Just 4 Years in Prison After Steering With Knees, Causing Crash That Killed 4, Including Own Daughter

What to Know

  • Four people were killed in the Aug. 15, 2015 accident, including the defendant's 2-year-old daughter
  • Prosecutors say Nerim Sinanovic, now 35, took his hands off the wheel and steered with his knees, then his wife grabbed the wheel
  • Sinanovic had higher-than-therapeutic levels of Xanax in his system at the time of the crash, prosecutors said

A 35-year-old man who killed four people, including his 2-year-old daughter, when he was on Xanax and briefly steered with his knees, causing a multi-vehicle crash on the Taconic State Parkway in 2015 faces a maximum sentence of just four years in prison under a plea deal announced Friday. 

Nerim Sinanovic, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and speeding in connection with the deadly Aug. 15, 2015 crash in Yorktown. Prosecutors say he was driving northbound on the highway when he took his hands off the wheel, turned toward the back seat, where his 1- and 2-year-old daughters were sitting, and briefly steered with his knees. 

Sinanovic's wife grabbed the wheel and their BMW veered left, then went airborne over the center median and crashed into a Toyota Camry traveling in the southbound lanes. Prosecutors say three family members were in the Toyota; two died within hours of massive internal injuries. The third person died exactly a month after the accident at Westchester Medical Center.

Prosecutors say Sinanovic's young daughters were both in car seats at the time of the accident; both were thrown from the vehicle upon impact. The 2-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Two other vehicles -- a Ford Escape and an Acura RSX -- were also hit. The people in those vehicles sustained non life-threateing injuries. 

According to prosecutors, Sinanovic had higher-than-therapeutic levels of Xanax in his system at the time of the crash. His sentencing is scheduled for January. Prosecutors say he faces one and a third to four years in state prison.

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