St. Albans girl killed in Brooklyn crash: NYPD

Richard Ramnarine holds a photo of his daughter, Rebecca, which she took of herself with an iPod the day she was killed. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A 9-year-old St. Albans girl was killed Sunday when an alleged hit-and-run driver smashed into the car she was traveling in on her way from a church gathering in Brooklyn to Sunday dinner with friends and family, police said.

It took the jaws of life to free Rebecca Ramnarine from the twisted metal of the Hyundai Elantra she was riding in early Sunday evening, but despite first responders’ best efforts she was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital, police said.

Rebecca and her family attend services at the Restoration Temple Assembly of God in Brooklyn every Sunday, and she was riding with a family friend on their way to Carnasie Pier, where the clan was going to meet up before heading to Queens for dinner, her family said.

But just about a dozen blocks away from the pier a Honda Odyssey minivan smashed into the Hyundai and a third vehicle at the intersection of Avenue N and Remsen Avenue, police said.

Police said the driver of the Honda, 62-year-old Kenneth Palache, had allegedly fled the scene from a nearby hit-and-run accident just a few minutes earlier, and when officers stopped the Huntington, LI, resident, he again took off.

It was just a few minutes later that his minivan plowed into the two other cars, police said.

Palache was arrested and charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, driving without a license and criminal negligence causing a death, police said.

Rebecca’s father, Richard Ramnarine, said he was a few blocks away in another car when one of the passengers got a call from a family member about the horrific accident.

At his St. Albans home Monday morning he praised the work of first responders as they cut away the twisted metal of the crash, a scene he said was too much to take in.

“I couldn’t watch,” he said.

Ramnarine said the family was trying to cope with the loss of the smiling young girl who seemed mature beyond her years.

“She was very loving and friendly. She loved fashion. She loved to dance and sing,” he said. “She was always with the older girls.”

Ramnarine, 39, said he was too full of grief to be angry at Palache.

“We’re just trying to rest and come to grips with it,” he said. “I’m not angry at him. It’s just that we wish we had her back.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Updated 3:17 pm, May 5, 2014
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