Two drivers on Staten Island were engaged in a drag race while intoxicated that ended in one person being killed and four other people being injured early Sunday morning.
According to police, Jermaine Simmons, 38, was speeding in his Dodge Charger heading northbound while intoxicated on the West Shore Expressway when he rear-ended the other drag racer, Hernan Zhagui’s, 49 Honda Pilot. The accident occurred near Arden Avenue at about 2:15 a.m.
Zhagui’s vehicle then plowed into a box truck directly in front of him.
The collisions sent both vehicles out of control. The Charger struck a light pole, causing it to flip over onto a grassy embankment. The Honda veered onto the center divider of the roadway.
A passenger in the Charger, Dennis White, who had been sitting in the front passenger seat, was transported by emergency crews to Richmond University Medical Center where he later died as the result of injuries he sustained in the crash.
Five additional passengers; two from the Honda, as well as Simmons and two additional passengers in the backseat of the Charger, were also taken to Richmond University Medical Center. All are expected to survive.
Zhagui injured his shoulder in the crash while Simmons suffered only minor injuries to his face, neck, and hands.
The driver of the box truck declined medical attention at the scene of the crash.
Police have charged both Simmons and Zhagui with driving while intoxicated. Simmons faces additional charges of driving without a license.
Over the last few years, more than 13,000 people have lost their lives in crashes involving drunken drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Administration. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is never a good idea and a driver who chooses to get behind the wheel while intoxicated places not only his life on the line but also risks the life of every other person in the vehicle and on the road at the time.
If you or loved one has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, or if they were killed in an accident with a driver who was behind the wheel while intoxicated, you need to understand your rights. An experienced attorney can help by answering all your questions and outlining every legal option that is available to you.
At Goldstein & Bashner, we have more than 25 years of experience in personal injury and accident law and have handled many cases involving drunken or intoxicated drivers. We can help you and your family to get financial compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, or ongoing medical costs as well as compensation for pain and suffering or wrongful death. We also want to make certain that justice is served by holding all parties responsible – not just from the at-fault driver or drivers - but also the establishment that served the alcohol in the first place – is held responsible.
Contact us today at 516-874-7303 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We are here to answer any and all of your questions. All cases are accepted on a contingency basis.