Boyfriend of Gowanus car fire victim has message for driver

CeFaan Kim Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Boyfriend of Gowanus car fire victim has message for driver
Jim Dolan reports from Astoria.

RED HOOK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The boyfriend of the Queens woman who died in a fiery crash on the Gowanus Expressway is speaking out, and he has a message for the driver who police say hopped in a cab on the highway and headed to the hospital, leaving the victim to burn in the car.

Karan Dhillon says Harleen Grewal was the love of his life. The 25-year-old Astoria woman was found in the passenger seat of the burned-out 2007 Infiniti G35 early Friday morning.

"Maybe he did try to help her, maybe he didn't, but the fact is we lost an angel," he said. "And it's, you know, a tragic way of losing someone you love."

Speaking to Eyewitness News, the 28-year-old Long Island man said his girlfriend was always looking out for others.

"She would be positive to everyone, sometimes for no reason at all," Dhillon said. "Like this guy, I don't know if she trusted him, you know? You know she trusted someone to drop her home, or whatever the case was."

In exclusive video obtained by Eyewitness News, you can see a man hailing a cab in the middle of the expressway while Grewal burned to death.

Police say the driver hailed a cab in the middle of the highway while his girlfriend burned to death in car fire

Police say that driver, 23-year-old Saeed Ahmed, was later found at Maimonides Medical Center, where he was treated for burns to his neck, arms and legs.

"I met him maybe once or twice," Dhillon said. "I knew that he was part of her circle."

At Ahmed's home in Brooklyn, his brother declined to comment, saying the media has been twisting their family's words. Ahmed's father reportedly called his son "crazy" for not calling 911, while his brother has reportedly hailed him as a hero. As for Grewal's boyfriend, he said he is not angry at Ahmed, even though he left her to die.

"When I first saw it, I said, man, this guy has no heart, guy has no soul," Dhillon said. "Guy had no heart. But then I put myself in his situation, and I would be scared out of my life. Twenty-three or 24-year-old young man, who just saw his best friend or friend just die over there. Maybe he tried to help her, maybe he didn't. You know, no one knows the real story."

But why would Ahmed tell police she was his date?

"People probably think she was cheating on me or this and that," Dhillon said. "No, there's nothing like that going on."

Dhillon thinks he was worried about the charges he was facing.

"If I was in his position and someone told me to say that, or maybe it popped up in my head to get more sympathy, maybe I would do that too," he said.

A memorial to Grewal has been set up alongside the Gowanus by Fort Hamilton Parkway, including pictures of her and candles. Grewal's family continues to plan her funeral, and they still can't imagine how anyone on earth could do this.

"I really wish that he did make an attempt," Dhillon said. "If he didn't make an attempt, then you know, that's a really cowardly move, man. God will deal with it."

Ahmed is now charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated unlicensed operator and speeding.

CeFaan Kim has more on what the victim's boyfriend had to say from Brooklyn.