Dozens of friends of a Richmond Hill High School student were in mourning after he and another teen were killed Wednesday afternoon in a car carrying six youths on the accident−prone part of Brookville Boulevard known as “Snake Road.”
Stephen Bachoon was driving his Toyota Corolla with Chris Basdeo, 16, of Richmond Hill and four other teen passengers southbound on the winding road through the marshland near South Conduit Avenue around 5 p.m. and crossed over into the northbound lane when he collided with a Kia minivan, police said.
Bachoon, 17, of Brooklyn, and Basdeo, who was sitting in the front seat, were pronounced dead at the scene, while the four other passengers in the back seat were rushed to Jamaica Hospital and North Shore University Hospital, according to police. Their conditions were not known. The driver of the minivan, an unidentified 70−year−old woman, was taken to North Shore in stable condition, police said.
News of Basdeo’s death sent shock waves through the tight−knit group of friends he had on the Richmond Hill block where he grew up. Nearly 30 of his peers gathered outside his house where his distraught parents had set up a makeshift memorial in his honor.
Charles Khan, who knew Basdeo, for at least 10 years, said the teen, known as “Young Star” to his friends, would always be there for him whenever he was in trouble and give friendly support.
“He was like a little brother to me,” Khan said.
Roshane Wynter, who attended Richmond Hill High School with Basdeo, remembered how his friend would always dress in the latest trends and joke around with others after school.
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” he said after he found out about the crash.
The section of Brookville Boulevard between 149th Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard has been criticized for years by residents, motorists and elected officials for years because it zigzags and the large grassland areas on either side create visibility problems. Several accidents have occurred on the roadway, which is nicknamed Snake Road. But due to federal regulations governing marshland, the road cannot be altered.
City Councilman James Sanders (D−Laurelton) has pushed the federal government to widen the road to help motorists maneuver through it safely.
“I understand it’s a wetland and it’s our obligation to protect nature, but human beings are nature too,” he said.
©2009 Community News Group
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