2 dead after a fiery car crash in Newark

August 20, 2011 3:30:40 PM PDT
"Absolutely senseless." That's one description of a deadly, fiery crash in Newark.

It began as a high speed chase on the Garden State Parkway but ended with two men dead.

By the light of day, the 1996 Acura was unrecognizable, merely burned pieces of metal scattered in the street. It's occupants, both men from Newark, both died at the scene.

"We pray for the families of the victims but again, this is senseless," NJ State Police Chaplain Bishop Jethro James said.

Investigators with the Essex County Prosecutor's office say the Acura was initially being chased by state police on the Garden State Parkway for speeding when it exited on to the streets of Newark.

Witnesses say the car was still traveling at a high rate of speed.

"I was looking through the window last night and I saw a car fly past. He had the police for like three blocks. The next thing you know I see state troopers coming behind him," eyewitness Tyrone Caldwell said.

Minutes later, around 2 a.m., the speeding Acura struck another car at the intersection of 15th Avenue and Bergen Street. The Acura then reportedly hit three parked cars, burst into flames, and flipped over before coming to a stop.

"We ran outside and my wife saw a person inside. She ran back in and grabbed a fire extinguisher. By the time she got back outside it was just too late," eyewitness Torin Thomas said.

The driver of the other car was treated for only minor injuries.

The prosecutor's office says dashboard cameras show troopers were no longer pursuing the Acura at the time of the crash; though they are still investigating.

"Such a tragedy. Such young lives wasted in the streets of Newark," Bishop James said.

Police have identified the victims as 24-year-old Zafir Abdul Rahman and 29-year-old Qaadir King.