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Drug Test Sends Teen Driver in Fatal Crash Back to Jail

Less than days after his release, Joseph Beer, 18, is sent back to prison without bail.

The unlicensed teen and sole survivor of the fatal October 2012 crash along the Southern State Parkway in West Hempstead returned to jail Thursday, less than 10 days after he had been released on bail.

Joseph Beer, 18, of Richmond Hill, walked away from the Oct. 8 crash that killed his four friends -- Darian Ramnarine, 18, Christopher Khan, 18, and Peter Kanhai, 18, and Neal Rajapa, 17 -- who were passengers in his car. Beer, who only had a learners permit, had been driving his 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI westbound on the parkway at estimated speeds of more than 110 miles per hour when he lost control of the vehicle while coming over a rise in the roadway approaching exit 17N.

After undergoing drug tests, which revealed Beer had a substantial amount of marijuana in his system, he was charged in November with aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, four counts of manslaughter in the second degree, four counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, driving while intoxicated-drugs, reckless endangerment in the second degree, reckless driving and unlicensed operation of a vehicle. 

 Beer had been released from Nassau County prison on Jan. 15 after posting bail, which had been reduced from $2 million to $250,000 after his lawyer appealed for the reduction. However, Beer was ordered back this week after a prosecutor said he tested positive for marijuana again and showed 'absolute utter disregard for the gravity of the situation,'" reports Newsday.

Prosecutor Michael Bushwack told the judge, according to Newsday, that Beer's texts  showed he was part of an "elaborate marijuana using, buying and dealing operation."

"I find this revelation of marijuana use to be astonishing and breathtaking," Nassau County Judge David Ayres told Beer and ordered him back to jail without bail.

fredo January 27, 2013 at 02:33 PM
ok, where are all those people who posted the boo hoo hoo "he's just a kid, give him a break, everyone makes mistakes messages" now?
phil from lynbrook January 27, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Well said. It really is a heartbreaking story for ALL of the families involved & he is a kid.But there must be consequences for his actions. He is old enough, should have known better & acted responsively.
J. amlett January 27, 2013 at 05:32 PM
@Fredo and Phil, I totally agree with you both. This boy is old enough to know right from wrong. And he doesn't deserve to be let out of prison, ever. No regards or remorse to anything that he's done.

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