Tag Archives: Southern State Parkway

Driver pleads not guilty in crash that killed St. Albans family

| amatua@queenscourier.com

A Rockville Centre man who was arrested last month for driving drunk and fleeing the scene of a car crash that left a St. Albans father and his two children dead, pleaded not guilty to aggravated vehicular manslaughter and 39 other charges, according to officials.

Oniel Sharpe Jr. rear-ended the car of Ancio Ostane on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore on July 12. Ostane and his two children, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4, were pronounced dead, while his wife Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane was treated and released at South Side Hospital.

Sharpe, who fled the scene with the help of a friend, was originally charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of the accident. At his arraignment on Thursday, he was also charged with vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated, tampering with physical evidence, following too closely, reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain lane, failing to signal and failing to stay in his designated lane. If convicted of the top charge he will face up to 25 years in state prison, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office.

Sharpe was also given 23 charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree after police found 23 fraudulent credit cards concealed in a pocket at the base of the steering wheel column of his BMW X-5 Sharpe.

“This is the textbook example of a drunk driver who tries to evade responsibility for his actions and sober up before encountering the police. This driver didn’t resurface until four hours after he rear-ended this car and destroyed an innocent family,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Ballone. “A driver convicted of that kind of behavior should face 15 years in prison upon conviction — eight more years behind bars than what today’s law provides.”

Three others were also arraigned in connection to the crash and credit card fraud.

Demetri Stewart, 23, of Cambria Heights drove Sharpe away from the scene and was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, hindering prosecution, criminal facilitation, making a sworn false statement and possession of marijuana.

Sharpe’s cousin Courtney Sharpe, 24, of Springfield Gardens pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and two counts of attempted identity theft in connection to the 23 fraudulent credit cards found in Oniel Sharpe’s car.

Sheon Richards, 23, of St. Albans who attended a barbecue with Sharpe and was driving a BMW 328 sedan on the parkway recklessly, was charged with speeding, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and failure to maintain lane.


St. Albans dad, two children killed in fiery accident on Long Island

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

Updated July 14, 12:35 p.m.

A St. Albans family was shattered early on Sunday morning after a father and two children were killed in a two-car crash involving an alleged drunk driver on a Long Island roadway, authorities reported.

The New York State Police said that Ancio Ostane along with his two children, Andy and Sephora Ostane, died in the fiery accident on the Southern State Parkway in Bay Shore on July 12. Wife and mother Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane managed to escape from the wreckage with minor injuries.

According to the New York State Police, the accident occurred on the westbound lanes of the parkway near Exit 41 (Bay Shore Road) at about 1:30 a.m. Reportedly, the Ostane family was riding in a 2005 Toyota heading home from a family party in Central Islip.

A short distance after the exit, police said, a 2008 BMW operated by O’Neil Sharpe of Rockville Centre slammed into the rear of the Toyota, causing the Toyota to burst into flames. Bouaz-Ostane, who was riding in the front passenger seat, was able to get out, but Ancio Ostane and their children were reportedly trapped in their seats.

Sharpe allegedly did not stop and fled from the location following the crash, police said.

State police and paramedics rushed to the scene. Ancio Ostane along with Andy and Sephora, ages 8 and 4, respectively, were pronounced dead. Bouaz-Ostane was treated and released at South Side Hospital.

Detectives picked up Sharpe at his Rockville Centre residence later on Sunday and charged him with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.

Reportedly, a second individual — identified as Demetri Stewart, 23, of Cambria Heights — was also arrested for allegedly assisting Sharpe in fleeing after the accident.

The investigation is ongoing.


Richmond Hill mourns teens lost in LI car crash

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Four Queens teenagers were killed and another hospitalized after the car they were riding in spun off the Southern State Parkway and split in two.

Christopher Khan, 18, Neal Rajapa, 17, Darian Ramnarine, 18, and Peter Anthony, 18, were killed in the wreckage, but driver Joseph Beer, 17, was able to make it out of the early morning crash that happened on Monday, October 8.

The victims were mainly from South Ozone Park and Jamaica, according to state troopers.

Beer was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital in nearby Mineola, a hospital spokesperson confirmed. She could not, however, release Beer’s condition as the family has requested privacy.

The 2012 Subaru Impreza split in two, police said, with the contents of the car spilling along the side of the road. The car had been heading west on the Southern State near exit 17, at a notoriously dangerous curve, around 3:40 a.m. when it veered off the road.

Beer was driving with a learner’s permit, according to reports. Under state law, someone with just a permit can drive at certain hours with someone who is 21 or older and holds a valid license.

Most of the students graduated from Richmond Hill High School last year, and on the morning of Tuesday, October 9, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited the school to address students. A Department of Education spokesperson said grief counselors will be provided to students and staff in order to cope.

Zahid Hassan, a junior at Richmond Hill, said his brother had been with a few of the departed just a few days before.

“They were good kids,” Hassan, 16, said. “I didn’t see them do anything bad.”

Several students still at the high school said they knew Khan well, and all seemed to agree he was a good-spirited person.

“I just hope he’s in a better place,” said Jonathan Espinosa, who said he had a class with Khan last year.

Espinosa said his classmate had been a fun-loving student who was kind to others. It was shocking to hear that Khan had died, Espinosa said, as he is trying to deal with the tragedy.

“It’s hard, but it happens though,” he said. “But that shouldn’t have ever happened.”

Kayla Valentine, a basketball player at the school, said Khan would come in and help coaches during practices. Valentine said Khan was one of the students to graduate last year, but was not sure if he was going to college anywhere.

The 17-year-old senior added that Khan had been a smart student who was always willing and able to help her with school problems.

“He was really nice,” she said. “If I ever had a problem he would talk to me.”

Valentine said she lost a friend less than a year ago to an accident on the Southern State, near the same spot where Khan and his friends perished.

“It’s just weird to me how everything happens that way.”