Tag Archives: Kingsley Maduka

Mayor, NYPD helping victims of tragic Van Wyck Expressway crash


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo by Roy Renna / BMR Breaking News

One of the three survivors of a recent fiery car crash near the Van Wyck Expressway, which killed five people including two kids, has been treated and released from Jamaica Hospital, officials said.

Kingsley Maduka returned to his family in the Bronx, while Oby Okoro, the driver in the crash, is in the intensive care unit and her seven-year-old son Cjidechukwu Obioha is in stable condition.

A spokesperson for the hospital told the media that “the family is not speaking at this time.”

According to police, the group of eight was traveling eastbound on Atlantic Avenue in a 2008 black Mercedes Benz SUV near the intersection of the Van Wyck at about 3 a.m. on July 22, when the vehicle struck a concrete barrier. The collision caused the car to flip and roll over, subsequently coming to a rest on its passenger side and igniting in flames.

Firefighters and EMS personnel responded, and, once the fire was extinguished, five victims were pronounced dead at the scene: Munachimso Obioha, 8, Ebube Obafor-Mba, 9, and three adult females.

Okoro, Obioha and Maduka were taken to the hospital.

The group was coming back from a function celebrating Nigerian heritage, according to published reports.

There is no criminal activity suspected at this time and the investigation is ongoing, cops said, though it has been reported that Okoro was traveling at a high rate of speed and had blown two red lights. “The mayor’s office and NYPD community affairs unit are helping the family out in any way that we can,” said officer Mark Costa of the 103rd Precinct.

Basdeo Narine, a resident who lives about a mile from the accident and passed by as he was driving his wife to work, said the Mercedes was completely smashed and he saw the five bodies, covered in sheets, laid out near the vehicle.

“It was mind crushing,” he said of the gruesome scene.

Narine said that though he doesn’t consider the intersection dangerous, people do take the turn at the Van Wyck and Atlantic and Archer Avenues at a high rate of speed. “I live here, so I know,” he said. “People can get up to 60 mph from light to light. But if you have kids in the car you are supposed to be cautious.”

In order to avoid such tragedies in the future, Narine said, the area needs a traffic light and a speed bump.

He said he’s not averse to contacting area politicians regarding the matter.

Yvonne Reddick, district manager of Community Board 12, agreed that the intersection is usually safe.

“That’s the first time that I’ve heard of an accident at that location,” Reddick said. “She just lost control. That was a tragedy. My heart goes out to the family.”

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

EVENT of the DAY:  SummerStage-Full Force, Force MD’s Johnny Kemp, Jeff Redd, Meli’sa Morgan 

A quartet of Rhythm and Blues performers each with their own flair and style. For more, check out http://www.fullforceworld.com [Click here for more info or submit your events]

Queens Democratic assembly hopefuls vying for endorsements 

Several Democratic political hopefuls vying for a chance to replace Assemblywoman Grace Meng in the state legislature are also competing for two vital endorsements they hope will give them an edge with voters. Meng and City Councilman Peter Koo, who are both popular in the Flushing-based 40th Assembly District, are fielding numerous requests for their endorsements. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

Astoria couple ramps up olive oil sales 

An Astoria couple is ramping up sales of the high-end olive oil made from the fruit of their 400-year-old olive grove in Greece. Lori and Panos Konstantopoulos moved back to the U.S. from Greece in the fall to focus on their “Euphoria” extra-virgin olive oil line. The peppery, green oil is sold only in several specialty shops in Manhattan and Long Island. Read more: [New York Daily News] 

UPDATE: Family mourns losses in fatal Jamaica SUV crash 

Family and friends joined 26-year-old Kingsley Maduka at home. He lost his 60-year-old aunt, Gladys Nnena Johnson Obioha and four other loved ones in the wreck Sunday. Family friend Don Akamnonu said they’re all crushed. “The family is just, like, shattered, like a broken bottle,” he said. Early Sunday morning, a driver and seven passengers were coming home from a gathering of people from the same part of Nigeria when police say their black SUV crashed into a concrete barrier on Atlantic Avenue, rolled over and burst into flames. Read more: [NY1] 

UPDATE: Driver arraigned in alleged fatal Queens hit-and-run involving cyclist 

A Queens driver was charged with manslaughter Monday after he allegedly struck and killed a cyclist, then fled the scene. Alex Batista, 25, was arraigned Friday night and is being held on $300,000 bail. Police allege that Batista was driving drunk on July 18 in Sunnyside when he hit 37-year-old Roger Hernandez and drove off. Read more: Read more: [NY1] 

‘Sex’ cop’s new post 

A top city cop embroiled in a sex scandal at a Queens precinct appears set to take a high-level post with the Nassau County Police — a department already tarnished by seedy shenanigans, sources said yesterday. Embattled NYPD Deputy Chief Michael Blake, 50, one of the city’s key anti-terror bosses, is telling colleagues that he’s snagged a new job as assistant police commissioner in Nassau, the law-enforcement sources said. Read more: [New York Post]

Bell cop wants job back 

The cop who was fired for starting the barrage of bullets that killed Sean Bell is suing to get his job back. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Gescard Isnora calls the NYPD’s decision to can him over the 2006 shooting “arbitrary and capricious.” Read more: [New York Post]