Officers: The driver exceeded 100 mph moments before the deadly Quogue crash

A driver’s speed had reached about 106 km / h in just 3 seconds before his car crashed head-on into a crowded Uber that rounded a corner of Quogue this summer, killing itself and four others, village police said Friday.

His speed at impact was 86 mph “with no indication of braking,” police said in a press release near a stretch of Montauk Highway where the limit is 40 mph and the “suggested” speed for the curve is 30 mph. The other vehicle, a Toyota Prius, was driving 27 mph at the time of the collision, down from 38 mph before he started braking, police said.

The conclusions about how fast the drivers were driving, by the state police, are based on forensic analyzes of “black box” incident data recorders in the vehicles.

The accident happened on July 24 around 11.15pm when the fast car, a red Nissan Maxima, was driven west by Justin B. Mendez, 22, from Shirley and hit the eastbound Uber.

Just moments earlier, a police officer whose name has not been released had tried to stop Mendez and briefly activated the patrol car’s flashing light after seeing Mendez driving west at a speed of at least 55 km / h, said Police Chief Christopher B. Isola. in the days after the crash.

Farhan Zahid, 32, of Bay Shore, the Uber driver and a married father of three, was also killed in the crash. along with three of his passengers, Michael O. Farrell, 20; his brother, James P. Farrell, 25; and a childhood friend, Ryan J. Kiess, 25, all of Manhasset.

A fourth passenger, Brianna M. Maglio, 25, of Garden City, Kiess’ girlfriend, was critically injured but survived.

The father of the Farrell brothers filed legal papers weeks after the crash that he plans to sue Suffolk County, Quogue and the village police department.

Suffolk is to blame for poor road design and lack of necessary maintenance on a stretch of road allegedly known for crashes, the papers claim.

And the papers against Quogue claim that a village police officer triggered the accident by initiating a pursuit of Mendez and then “not timely ending the pursuit / pursuit of the Mendez vehicle when it became clear that Mendez was aware that he was being prosecuted / followed. “The risk, the newspapers say,” was too great and unjustified given the physical location of the persecution and the time of day. “

That The police press release quotes a driver heading east that night who told officers he saw a car without lights on “and was completely blacked out.”

“When this vehicle passed me, it appeared that the vehicle was traveling at over 100 miles per hour, which sounded like a race car and took my breath away. Next, I saw a police car with the emergency lights about 100 yards or 10-15 seconds behind it. red car, where the police car did nothing by closing the distance between them, “read the message.

Village police have said there is no criminal investigation because Mendez died in the crash.

Kurt Kiess, the father of Ryan Kiess, questioned in a statement to Newsday whether Mendez “was pressured into such ruthless behavior in an attempt to avoid the persecution of Quogue Police.”

He said there are still unanswered questions, including the police officer’s top speed and how long any pursuit lasted.

Kiess said he is awaiting the release of the report on the reconstruction of the accident as well as any dashcam footage and radio communications.

In its press release, Quogue police said the New York State Attorney General’s Office reviewed the case and “indicated that there was no reason to pursue action against the police officer.”

The office did not immediately return a call and an email for confirmation.

Asked about any query about how fast the officer was driving at the moment before the crash, Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius declined to answer, saying the village would only release what is stated in the police news release about the crash. He cited the pending lawsuit in refusing to comment.

“That’s all we want to say about it, certainly for the time being,” he said.

Lt. Daniel Hartman of the Quogue police did not return a call for more information.

Ryan Kiess and the Farrell brothers played lacrosse at Manhasset High School.

Kiess played lacrosse at the University of Scranton. After graduating, he had recently been promoted to accounting firm KPMG.

Maglio is a nurse at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

James Farrell continued to play lacrosse in college at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was team captain his final year. Michael Farrell played midfield for Manhasset and went to Villanova University.

Zahid, the Uber driver, was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States five years ago. He lived in the Bay Shore with his wife and three children aged 6, 3 and 16 months.

Last month, Newsday reported that Suffolk County had New York State’s most fatalities related to motor vehicles — 113 killed, according to preliminary 2020 figures tracked by the Albany-based Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research — in each county.


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