MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Jury selection has begun for a Long Island teenager accused of driving high and speeding in a crash that killed four of his friends.
As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, Joseph Beer‘s trial is expected to last about five weeks.
According to prosecutors, the 19-year old is accused of driving high on marijuana while going at least 110 mph on the Southern State Parkway before losing control and crashing into trees near Exit 17 on October 8, 2012.
Prosecutors said Beer only had a learner’s permit at the time and was showing off his new high-performance Subaru Impreza. Police said the car split in half due to the force of the collision.
All five in the car were ejected. Beer was the lone survivor of the collision. He has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide for the deaths of Darian Ramnarine, Christopher Khan, Neal Rajaba and Peter Kanhai.
Beer’s attorney said his client mourns the loss of his friends every day, but adds Beer was not impaired by the marijuana.
“There’s gonna be evidence that he had a very small of marijuana in his system, but that is not impairment,” said Todd Greenberg. “The cause of this terrible, horrific accident was that the Southern State Parkway at that location is extremely, extremely dangerous.”
Officials said the Southern State Parkway is one of the deadliest roads in the area.
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