5 dead, 1 injured in Cross Island Parkway crash in Whitestone

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) -- Five people were killed and a sixth person was injured in a crash on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens.

It 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.

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.

Police are still investigating how fast the Mazda was going, but they say it was speeding.

"If you're speeding down that roadway, it's very hard to come upon and see it because there's like a downhill on it, but you could like miss it and just go on full speed at both those curves," said Robert Acosta, a driver familiar with the road.

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 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."

"You can't go fast but these cars, these young kids with the cars, they go so fast," neighbor Stavros Vouvoudakis said. "It's unbelievable. As soon as they take the corner, they go off the road if you are not experienced enough, on both sides."

Florence Ruggiero, who lives near the crash, wonders what other factors could have been at play especially on the morning of New Year's Day.

"There are the people who are careless, the people who drink. But there are people who don't know as well and with bad road conditions or an icy night, or if the road was a little bit wet last night. All of that affects that curve," Ruggiero said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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