Suspect arrested on DUI, other charges in deadly Maplewood accident

August 7, 2013 8:46:12 PM PDT
A 20-year-old man has been charged in the Maplewood, New Jersey crash that left a teenager and a 20-year-old dead and two others injured.

He was only 16 years old, but Tahmir Harry and his 21-year-old friend Kevin Noel didn't stand a chance Tuesday night. They might not even have seen the other car coming, before they lost their lives in the blink of an eye.

"He had so many friends, he was never alone. Always laughing, always smiling, making jokes. He was really cool," said Brittany Padmore, the victim's friend.

Brittany Padmore was friends with Tahmir who lived just down the block from the crash site with his big brother Tahsir. Tahsir was also in the car and critically hurt along with a fourth friend.

And not 24 hour hours later, there was an arrest.

"This tragic incident was not a tragic accident," said Carolyn A. Murray, the acting Essex County Prosecutor.

The Acting Essex County Prosecutor charged the other driver, 20-year-old Harrison Allen, the son of the fire chief in nearby Montclair, with vehicular homicide.

Investigators say he was drunk behind the wheel of his brand new Chrysler when he slammed into the 2001 Nissan, driven by the four friends.

"It was in fact a criminally negligent, reckless act involving excessive speed, alcohol, disregard of a stop sign in Maplewood,"

"It was horrific. There were bodies in the street," a witness said.

Throughout the day, family, friends, and neighbors returned to the scene, and tried to make sense of the tragic crash so close to home.

A vigil is set for Thursday, to bring awareness to drinking and driving.

"It's such a bad decision. People think it is fun, it can take your life in a nanosecond," Padmore said.

Allen is being held on $50,000 bail.