A 12-year-old boy is clinging to life and two Queens teenagers, one of them unlicensed, have been arrested following an automobile crash late Wednesday night on Francis Lewis Boulevard on the border of Bayside and Fresh Meadows, police said.
The boy, Aviv Babayeva, was in critical condition at New York Hospital Queens in Flushing, a 111th Precinct lieutenant said.He was a passenger in one of the cars.
Kew Gardens resident David Lakhchakov, 16, and Flushing resident David Badalov, 18, were arrested after the accident that occurred a little before 11 p.m. Wednesday night outside 47-40 Francis Lewis Blvd., police and District Attorney Richard Brown said. Badalov lost control of his BMW and crashed into a Lexus driven by Lakhchakov, who did not have a driver’s license, according to police.
Witnesses said the BMW then spun around three times before crashing into several cars parked along Francis Lewis.
“The driver of the Lexus came out and was really emotional,” said a neighbor who lives across the street from the accident site. “He kept screaming ‘my cousin, my cousin.”
Police did not say if those involved in the accident were related, but they did say the two drivers knew each other.
Emergency responders had to cut the roof from the BMW in order to remove Badalov, an 18-year-old front seat passenger and the 12-year-old boy, who was riding in the back, police said. All three were taken to the hospital, and Badalov and the 18-year-old were in stable condition, according to police.
Babayeva suffered two broken femurs, a broken pelvis, severe trauma to his torso and head, and swelling to his brain that requried surgery, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.
Lakhchakov and Badalov have been charged with reckless endangerment, assault, reckless driving and speeding, police said. Lakhchakov was also charged with driving without a license, according to police.
Residents said Francis Lewis has been notorious for drag racing, although police said they doubted the incident involved drag racing because the drivers knew each other.
“It doesn’t fit the profile of a drag race,” said 111th Precinct Special Operations Lt. Daniel Heffernan. “Normally with drag racing we see two parties who don’t know each other.”
Kyung Kim, whose parked van was damaged in the crash, said she frequently sees individuals driving at high speeds along Francis Lewis, especially at night time.
“It’s really crazy at night,” said Kim, who has lived on Francis Lewis for three years.
Kim’s daughter was the first to call 911 after the accident, and she said she saw the 12-year-old boy in the back of the car.
“It’s too bad to even say,” Kim said of the condition in which she saw the boy. “I thought he was going to die.”
Heffernan said the number of drag racing incidents along Francis Lewis has decreased over the years. A neighbor who has lived across the street from the accident for more than 30 years said the number of individuals racing and accidents dipped after traffic lights were installed along Francis Lewis in 1995.
“We haven’t seen a fatal drag racing accident on Francis Lewis in many years,” Heffernan said. “Francis Lewis is not what it used to be. You go back 15 years and there was organized drag racing going on.”
Heffernan said 111th precinct officers have made three drag-racing related arrests in 2009 and two in 2008. There were two drag racing arrests in 2007, five in 2006, and three in 2005. None of the arrests involved accidents, police said.
©2009 Community News Group
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