Driver, 4 passengers killed on Cross Island Parkway crash in Queens identified

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Investigation underway after 5 killed, 1 hurt in Queens crash
Sonia Rincon has new details in the deadly crash on the Cross Island Parkway.

WHITESTONE, Queens (WABC) -- The five victims killed in a crash on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens on New Year's Day have been identified.

The crash happened early Monday in a section of the parkway called "dead man's curve."

Two cars -- a dark blue Mazda with North Carolina plates and a white Honda -- collided on the curve from the northbound Cross Island Parkway to the southbound Whitestone Expressway just before 6 a.m.

Police say the Mazda was going southbound into the curve, lost control and hit the median and then the Honda, which was going northbound, before landing upside-down in the northbound lanes.

Authorities are still investigating how fast the Mazda was going, but they believe speed was a factor in the crash.

All five of the victims that were killed were in the overturned Mazda. The impact of the crash was so violent that all five of them died at the scene.

Sources told Eyewitness News that all five people in the Mazda were young adults, and that the driver, a resident of North Carolina, may have moved there recently from Queens. His four passengers, two men and two women lived in Queens.

The driver was identified Tuesday as 24-year-old Kazeem Ramsahai and the four passengers were identified as 19-year-old Dayanara Benitez-Ocampo, 30-year-old Mario Ocampo, 23-year-old Salma Garcia-Diaz and 20-year-old Jordy Bentances.

The driver of the Honda was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Queens where they are listed in stable condition.

The curve on the Cross Island Parkway at the junction with the Whitestone Expressway is well known to drivers in the neighborhood who say if you're speeding when you approach it, you're in trouble.

"It's not a dotted line, it's a straight line, so you can't switch lanes," said Orestes Frangakis, who is familiar with the road. "So, you've got to be in your lane too. So, you always got to drive with caution."

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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