MALVERNE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) –A community gathered with heavy hearts Wednesday to say goodbye to Christopher Khan, one of the teens killed in a devastating car crash on the Southern State Parkway.
Some family members also spoke out about the tragedy for the first time and CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan spoke exclusively with one victim’s relatives.
The family of another victim, Darian Ramnarine, is inconsolable, saying they will never be able to give their loving 18-year-old son a proper religious goodbye because his casket has to be closed.
“I’m very sad, I don’t know what to do,” said Darian’s grandmother, Senti Ramnarine Ramoo. “Darian was a loving child, I was here when he graduated.”
Ramoo flew in from Trinidad. She was last in the area attending all four teen victims’ proms and graduations.
“I didn’t know Joseph, but I know the rest of his friends,” she said.
Joseph Beer is the 17-year-old driver who authorities said was behind the wheel without a license. He was the only survivor and now back home in South Richmond Hill after being released from a Nassau hospital.
Beer is not speaking, but his supporters are.
“Joseph we are just looking out for him, making sure he is in a good place, he’s taking care of himself. Honestly, it is not his fault, we don’t know exactly what happened,” said friend Adam Mohamed.
“The investigation is going to determine not just if alcohol and drugs played a part, but also the speed that the car was traveling. Blood from the driver has been sent to a lab to be screened for alcohol and drugs,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
The DA is working with the manufacturer of Subaru to determine if a vehicle black box, indicating the speed Beer’s car was traveling, can be downloaded.
The car was in multiple pieces after missing a turn on the Southern State Parkway. Beer’s passengers were killed instantly.
Beer had only a learner’s permit and a source told CBS 2, Beer indicated he’d been smoking pot.
Emotions and love poured out during the first of the four teen funerals.
Christopher Khan’s family was so overcome, his mother Sheriffa had to be carried out of the service and put into an ambulance as her son’s body left for burial.
“Mistakes happen in life, but we all should learn and the teenagers out there should learn,” said Shakela Khan, the aunt of victim Christopher Khan.
For now, his community is standing behind Joseph Beer while the investigation continues. The District Attorney said it could take up to two weeks for toxicology results on the driver.