The 17-year-old Queens driver who only had a learner's permit when he lost control of his car on the Southern State Parkway—killing his four friends—is out of the hospital and getting ready for possible charges. Joseph Beer, whose 3:45 a.m. crash in the woods by exit 17 sheared his near Subaru Impreza in half, retained a criminal attorney. Newsday reports that the attorney, Todd Greenberg, said, "I have no comment at this time out of respect for the four young men and their families."
Darian Ramnarine, 18, Christopher Khan, 18, Peter Kanhai, 18, and Neal Rajapa, 17, were thrown from the car and died in the collision, while Beer survived. The investigation is ongoing, but it's clear that Beer wasn't supposed to be driving at all because NY State DMV rules say that drivers with learner's permits may not drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., may not have any passengers under 21 who are not family members, and may not drive without a licensed driver at least 21 years of age. The teens were all friends in Richmond Hill, Queens.
Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice said, "The investigation is going to determine not just if alcohol and drugs played a part, but also the speed that the car was traveling. Blood from the driver has been sent to a lab to be screened for alcohol and drugs." The car, a graduation gift for Beer, allegedly had a speed enhancement package.
Still, the authorities shouldn't blame Beer—according to Beer's friend, who told WCBS 2, "We are just looking out for him, making sure he is in a good place, he’s taking care of himself. Honestly, it is not his fault, we don’t know exactly what happened."
A friend of Darian Ramnarine spoke to NBC New York, revealing his mother cracked down on his own car privileges, "She said no driving right now... She just took the car away completely... I'm a teenage driver just like them, just like him. Because of this, even my mom cried."