Friends Create Makeshift Memorial for Crash Victims

Sole survivor of crash that killed four teens released from hospital as authorities await toxicology results.

"R.I.P. Peter, Cak, Neal, Darian." 

The names of the four Richmond Hill teens who were killed in the horrific car accident near Exit 17N of the Southern State Parkway Monday morning were spray-painted on Taylor Road in West Hempstead, just steps away from the crash site, along with the initials for Rest in Peace.

Above the names, a white arrow points to a nearby tree on the shoulder of the Southern State Parkway, where friends of the four victims -- Christopher Khan, 18, Neal Rajapa, 17, Peter Kanhai,18, and Darian Ramnarine, 18, -- recently created a makeshift memorial. At the foot of the tree they placed candles and flowers, and assembled a pile of the victims' personal possessions -- sneakers, sandals, Metro cards, gym passes, packs of Newport cigarettes, body spray and a striped sweater -- found in the wreckage, and pieces of the mangled 2012 Subaru Impreza, which split in half when the vehicle slammed into several trees after leaving the parkway.

The driver and sole survivor of the crash, Joseph Beer, 17, of Queens, reportedly failed to negotiate the curve in the road around 3:40 a.m. on Oct. 8 and lost control of the car. he was driving with a learner's permit. Although his passengers were ejected from the vehicle, Beer only suffered a head injury and was able to walk away from the crash. It appears wearing his seat belt may have saved his life. He was treated at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola and released the following evening. 

Beer has not been charged in the accident at this time but according to The Wall Street Journal, investigators are seeking to expedite toxicology tests on him. Citing an unnamed law enforcement official, the WJS reported:

"Authorities have begun the process of getting a blood screen to detect any intoxicants in the system of Joseph Beer ... Toxicology tests typically take weeks to complete, but investigators Tuesday were trying to expedite the process and hoped to have results back within a few days."

Some news reports have alleged that Beer was high on on marijuana during the accident, but authorities have not confirmed this. 

A law enforcement source told The New York Post, "We believe it was pot, and we are awaiting test results ...Responders to the crash noticed an odor of marijuana to the vehicle." 

Funeral services were held Wednesday morning for Christopher Khan in South Ozone Park, where hundreds gathered to mourn the 18-year-old who "always had a smile on his face," reports The Queens Courier. Services for Darian Ramnarine will take place at the same funeral home this evening.

Fiona Malcolm October 11, 2012 at 12:47 AM
wow!! Really sad.
mina a October 11, 2012 at 03:59 AM
http://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-city-criminal-court-dismiss-the-case-of-17-year-old-joseph-beer Please help our friend out and sign this petition we understand that he deserves some kind of punishment but memory loss and the guilt from the deaths of his close friends is enough to traumatize a person. Jail is not necessary. What's the use putting someone in jail to pay for something they can't even remember doing? I think he's already a prisoner in his own body and that should be enough. Please sign!
Clark Griswold October 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM
You gotta be on drugs!!! This kid should do some serious time as well as the parents that enabled this CRIME to happen with their negligence!!!
Vera Wangley October 11, 2012 at 10:30 PM
You have got to be kidding. Personal guilt and regret have nothing to do with civil and/or criminal penalties. Memory loss? Really? More like self-serving lawyerspeak. What next? His parents on television "Our son is a good boy...". Please......
S.M. October 12, 2012 at 12:01 AM
He put other motorists at grave risk as well. If he broke the law, he should go to jail. I will not sign your petition.
Bkhan October 12, 2012 at 03:05 AM
All of you commenting is disgusting.. It could have been anyone of your kids... And you would have probably done the same thing if you were in that position. All i have to say is all if you commenting has no heart or feelings, so maybe you shouldnt comment. My sumpathy goes out to each and everyone of the family including joesph. I cant imagine what the parents are going through especially joesphs parents... Of whom he cant even remember.
Natalie October 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM
It's very sad. My cousin had just turned 20 and just got her license. She crashed on the NSP and died late night/early morning a few yrs ago. Her passengers survived. I don't know what to say. It's just really sad , messed up and preventable. These young people shouldn't be driving. There are just too many similarities in most of these deadly car accidents . Very young or new drivers, driving in new cars , with young passengers might have the need to show off or speed. My cousin begged for my uncles late model car. Now he wishes he said no. I'm sorry for these young ones gone, but its parents jobs to keep kids home, not let them drive, ask where they are going, with who and what mode of transportation.
Victoria Traubmann October 12, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Mina - that petition is the biggest crock. This kid if found guilty should never see the light of day again. Think about the pain of all the other familires. Get ready to send him some soap on a roap in prison.
Jocelyn Rodriguez Dube October 12, 2012 at 04:38 PM
REALLY!so you feel he's already been punished enough?Oh no!He may not remember much now but i'm sure he was aware of his permit rules when he FIRST got in the car and agreed to drive.I'm sure he was aware that speed and a wet surface wasn't a safe combo.He was probably showing off his driving skills when he agreed to drive and put the petal to the metal.That's why it's always wise to THINK first and be true to yourself and never be ashamed to say "I shouldn't or I can't".I always tell my kids to be careful and safe and even when they are alone in the car they should be aware of the very precious cargo the car contains.Every person on this planet is precious,loved,irreplaceable and will be severely missed by someone.Mr. Beer's First decision then his action could have prevented this,He needs to be held accountable.His friends aren't coming back,sad but true.I will not sign your ridiculous petition,a slap on the wrist? I don't think so!
Slone October 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM
This is a most unfortunate situation, but lets be real here. When this kid got behind the wheel of that car, and then proceeded to drive, KNOWING full well of his stipulations and non-driving skills, he knew exactly what he was doing. Was there memory loss than as well??? There was no concern or responsibility here at all. He needs to be dealt with appropriately and be punished for his irresponsibility. He caused 4 deaths, ruined his life and the lives of many others.
fredo October 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Know what - some "mistakes" are criminal. This is one of them. I hope they throw the book at him. That could have been anyone's son or daughter in the car with him, and it is a miracle he didnt kill any other innocent person on the road that night. Letting him off sends a message that it's ok to drive 100 MPH without a license at 4am (and that's assuming he wasnt stoned). How stupid do you have to be to not know the danger - that's criminal stupidiity and he deserves to be locked up for a long time if for no other reason than to protect the rest of us. Save your efforts and collect money for legal fees, he's gonna need them.
Mohan October 13, 2012 at 07:48 PM
All you people saying "he already suffered enough" are jus as incapable of thinking as these boys. So it's ok to drive with a learner permit late at night? It's ok to crash kill people and because you suffered some injury, be let loose. His parents should be held accountable too. Why is your 17 year old son driving? And let's be real, everyone wants to act all innocent and say they are good boys and so on. WE ALL KNOW THEY WERE SMOKING WEED AND THOUGHT THEY WERE RACE CAR DRIVERS. To all the people saying he knew how to drive. Obviously NOT.
sharleene perez-anderson October 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I agree with most of the comments. He should be held accountable and so should his parents for buying a vehicle like the one he crashed. They should have waited until he got his license, then buy him an older car and stipulate that it's only for driving to school and not for anything else. If they wanted to hang out or go to the movies, which is where they said they were going, they should have taken mass transit. The parents should have made sure he didn't take the car that night. They are at fault too. I feel bad that he doesn't remember them, but he's got to pay for his actions.
S.P. October 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Really sad... Everyone should have been wearing seatbelts. Seat belts save lives!!
Tara Conry (Editor) November 16, 2012 at 10:38 PM
UPDATE: http://patch.com/A-z96T


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