The father of the 16-year-old boy from Brooklyn who was driving an SUV that crashed on New York’s Hutchinson River Parkway and killed him and four of his young relatives said that family members told him not to drive without a license.
CBS asked Malik Smith, the father if he knew that his son Malik was driving without even a learner’s permit.
Smith said, “Yes, I was.” “I told him to stop driving without a license or permit, and so did his mother and older brothers. When these things happen, you get pulled over and get in trouble. Don’t do this.”
Police say that five teenagers died in the accident early Sunday morning on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale.
Monday, Westchester County police named the victims as 17-year-old Anthony Billips, 16-year-old Malik Smith, 12-year-old Zahnyiah Cross, 11-year-old Shawnell Cross, and 8-year-old Andrew Billips.
His father said that the driver lived in East New York, Brooklyn. The government says that his cousins just moved to Derby, Connecticut.
The 11th grade, according to Malik’s grandmother, Robin Smith. The teen’s grandmother said, “Malik liked to play basketball.” She said that she last talked to Malik last week. “I didn’t know anything until I got the call yesterday morning,” she said.
She said this is the family’s second bad thing to happen in a week. One of her nephews died of leukemia not long ago. “I can’t handle it right now,” Smith said. The crash is still being looked into.
Westchester County police said that Malik was driving north on the parkway when his Nissan Rogue went off the road and crashed into a tree just north of the Mamaroneck Road exit. The car caught fire.
Only a 9-year-old boy made it out alive. Police said that the driver was not going too fast.
The sad dad said that the kids in the SUV were cousins of Malik’s, but they were as close as siblings. “They were closer to each other. That’s how close they are to each other,” Smith told the TV station.
On the weekends, they would often spend the day at a nearby mall.
“That’s what he does. The mall is where he goes. He goes with his cousin to get ice cream. They go see a movie. They go around the mall on foot. “You know, they do things that teenagers and kids do,” Smith said.
He also said, “I didn’t know he was driving by himself.”
Under New York state law, drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to have more than one passenger in the car, unless the passengers are members of their immediate family or there is a passenger over the age of 21 in the car.
In Connecticut, a 16-year-old can’t drive with people younger than 20 or people who aren’t related to them. Drivers under the age of 18 are also not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they need to get to work, school, a religious event, or the hospital.
Both people in New York and people in Connecticut were hurt by the tragedy.
“Terrible, heartbreaking news is coming out that five Derby children were killed in a crash in New York,” Connecticut State Rep. Kara Rochelle wrote on Facebook. “Please say prayers for these kids and their families.”