Cops: Driver passed 100mph moments before Quogue crash


A driver’s speed had reached around 106 mph in just 3½ seconds before his car crashed head-on into a crowded Uber on the corner of Quogue this summer, killing himself and four others, village police said on Friday.

Its impact speed was 86 mph “with no indication of braking,” police said in a press release, near a stretch of the 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 traveling at 27 mph on impact, compared to 38 mph before it began to brake, police said.

The findings on how fast drivers were moving, by state police, are based on forensic analyzes of “black box” event data recorders in vehicles.

The crash happened on July 24 at around 11:15 p.m. as the high-speed car, a red Nissan Maxima, was driven west by Justin B. Mendez, 22, of Shirley, and struck the ‘Uber eastbound.

Moments earlier, an undisclosed police officer attempted to stop Mendez and briefly activated the patrol car’s flashing lights after seeing Mendez driving west at speed of at least 55 mph, Police Chief Christopher B. Isola said. in the days following the accident.

Farhan Zahid, 32, of Bay Shore, an Uber driver and married father of three, was also killed in the crash. with three of his passengers, Michael O. Farrell, 20; her 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, who is a nurse at the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan and Kiess’ girlfriend, was seriously injured.

The father of the Farrell brothers filed legal documents weeks after the crash that said he plans to suffolk County, Quogue and the village police department.

The newspapers cite Suffolk for what they describe as poor road design and lack of necessary maintenance on a section allegedly known for crashes.

And the documents against Quogue allege that a village police officer precipitated the accident by launching a pursuit of Mendez, and then “failing to end the pursuit / tracking of Mendez’s vehicle in time, as he became evident that Mendez was aware that he was being pursued / followed. ” The risk, according to the newspapers, “was too great and unwarranted given the physical location of the pursuit and the time of day.”

The The police press release quotes an eastbound driver that night telling officers he saw a car with no lights on “and she was completely passed out.”

“When this vehicle passed me, it looked like the vehicle was going over 100 miles an hour, which looked like a race car, took my breath away. Then I saw a police car. with the hazard lights on about 100 meters or 10 to 15 seconds behind the red car, the police car making no progress in reducing the distance between them, ”the statement quoted the witness as saying.

Village police said there was no criminal investigation as Mendez died in the crash.

Ryan Kiess’ father Kurt Kiess asked in a statement to Newsday whether Mendez “was pressured into such reckless driving in an attempt to escape the pursuit of the Quogue police.”

He said there were unanswered questions, including the officer’s top speed and the length of any pursuit.

Kiess said he was awaiting the release of the crash reconstruction report, along with footage from the dashcam and radio communications.

In their press release, Quogue Police said the New York State Attorney General’s office had reviewed the case and “indicated there was no reason to prosecute the police officer.” .

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

Asked about any investigation into how fast the officer was traveling in the moments leading up to the crash, Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius declined to respond, saying the village would only release what is in the press release from the police on the accident. He cited the ongoing litigation as declining to comment.

“That’s all we’re going to say about it, certainly for now,” he said.

Quogue Police Lt. Daniel Hartman did not respond to a call for more information.

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

Kiess continued to play lacrosse at the University of Scranton. After his studies, he was recently promoted to the accounting firm KPMG.

James Farrell then played college lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a team captain in his senior year. Michael Farrell played in midfield for Manhasset and attended Villanova University.

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

Last month, Newsday reported that Suffolk County had the highest number of motor vehicle-related deaths in New York State – 113 killed, according to preliminary figures for 2020 tracked by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research from Albany – from all counties.

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