A late Wednesday night drag race in Queens has sent its teen drivers and passengers, including a child, to the hospital. One driver, 16, should not have even been behind the wheel.
Police say two cars were racing southbound on Francis Lewis Blvd. in Aurburndale just before 11 p.m., when the 18-year-old male driver of a 2004 grey BMW lost control and crashed into the other car, a 2009 Lexus driven by a 16-year-old boy.
The BMW then spun out of control and collided into several parked cars in front of 47-40 Francis Lewis Blvd, near Weeks Lane.
“He [the driver of the BMW] started to spin and doing a couple of 360s and went backwards into the [parked] van, probably doing 60 or 70 mph,” a witness told PIX News, “It happened very quick. He lost control of the car. I see these things happen all the time here.” Local residents say this stretch of Francis Lewis Blvd. is a hot spot for drag racing.
The vehicle was also carrying two passengers, an 18-year-old who was riding shot gun, and 11-year-old, who was in the rear seat. Both passengers are male.
When emergency services arrived, firefighters had to cut off the roof of the BMW in order to remove the occupants of the car. All were sent to New York Hospital in Flushing.
The 11-year-old boy was the most seriously injured and remains listed in critical condition. The teen driver and passenger were listed in stable condition.
The 16-year-old driver of the Lexus was also listed in stable condition and treated of minor injuries. Police say it was illegal for him to drive the car at the time of the accident.
According to New York State’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the legal age to drive is 16. But in New York City, it is illegal for a driver under 18-years-old, who has a junior permit or junior license, to operate a vehicle between 9pm to 5am.
Only a junior driver with a limited junior license is allowed to operate a vehicle during that time of day. But that young driver must be under the immediate supervision of a person, who is at least 21-years-old and has a valid license for the vehicle being driven, and the vehicle must have dual controls.
Local residents want police to install cameras to discourage drag racing.
The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.