Edison teen killed in crash committed suicide, police say

Toni Yates reports from Edison
October 17, 2013 1:19:08 PM PDT
Police say a two-car crash that killed three people in Edison, New Jersey was caused by the 15-year-old driver of one car committing suicide.

The crash happened near the Stony Road intersection at 12:32 a.m. Tuesday.

The driver of a 1995 Honda Civic, identified as a 15-year-old Edison boy, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:01 a.m. Edison Police and the Prosecutor's Office determined that this was a suicide-homicide.

The boy wrote a suicide note on his body. He attended nearby J.P. Stevens High School.

In a letter to parents, school principal Gail Pawlikowski said all students were given news of the boy's death in homeroom Thursday morning. She said members of the school's crisis response team would be available to meet with students.

As a result of the crash, two families with seven children are left to survive the sudden, stunning, loss of their fathers.

"He always did everything he could for his children, he was there for them, supported them, he was a good father, and they keep asking, 'Where's daddy?' and he's not coming home tonight," a family member said.

46-year-old Mohammad Zia was a husband and the father of four children. 35-year-old Ali Behzad was a husband and he and his wife had three children, the youngest just 3 years old.

The two men were driving home early Tuesday morning, when a vehicle illegally driven by an unlicensed 15-year-old boy crossed the yellow line on Route 27 and killed everyone in both cars.

"There was a lot firemen, a lot of first aiders, a lot of cops, I saw the firemen cut the roof off the car," said Scott Criss, an eyewitness.

"My dad was the hardest working man that I know. He put in hours no one could even imagine just to keep me, my mom, and my two brothers and my sister, to keep a roof over our head," said Mobeen Zia, the victim's son.

Tuesday, friends and family gathered at Mohammed Zia's home.

This was supposed to be a joyous gathering to celebrate Eid, one of the holiest days in the Muslim faith.

They struggled, instead, to find some comfort, after a tragedy beyond words.

"He had three beautiful kids, and my sister, and he left them all, he just left," the victim's brother-in-law said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lisa Cimmino of the Edison Police Department at (732) 248-7529, or Investigator Jeffrey Temple of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at (732) 745-3373.