NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man has been charged in connection with a crash that killed a 9-year-old girl in Brooklyn and left five others injured, according to police.
Kenneth Palache, 62, of Huntington, Long Island, has been arrested on charges of criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and operating a motor vehicle without a license.
He was awaiting arraignment late Monday night.
The Department of Motor Vehicles said that Palache did not have a valid license. He had a non-driver ID with two suspensions for non-payment, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.
Rebecca Ramnarine, 9, was riding in the back seat of a family friend’s Hyundai Elantra when police said Palache slammed into the car with his Honda Odyssey at the intersection of Avenue N and Remsen Avenue on Sunday. He also hit a Toyota Siena, police said.
Rebecca was taken to the hospital where she later died.
“They rushed her into the ambulance and they were still working on her and there was just so much blood,” Rebecca’s mother, Abiola Ramnarine, told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera. “We went to the hospital and they called me into the room and told me my baby was dead.”
Two others in the Hyundai, including Rebecca’s 11-year-old friend, and three people in the Toyota were also hurt. They were hospitalized in stable condition.
The Ramnarine family said they were on their way home from church services, but had split up in separate cars. Police said Palache was fleeing the scene of another accident he was allegedly involved in about a mile away when the crash happened.
“I’m still not angry, because anger is not going to bring my daughter back,” her father, Richard Ramnarine, told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang.
“This morning the wave hit me and I couldn’t stop crying. I haven’t slept. Everytime I close my eyes the picture of my daughter on the gurney is stuck in my head,” her mother said.
Now, Rebecca’s three siblings are struggling with the loss, especially the youngest. Richard Ramnarine encouraged his daughter, 8-year-old Moriah, to speak publicly about her sister.
“She liked to sing and dance,” she said.
On Monday, family and friends gathered at the Canarsie intersection where Rebecca was killed.
“My daughter was such a bright young lady. Full of life. I would give anything to have one more minute just to tell her to leave my stuff alone. That’s my baby,” Abiola Ramnarine told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
The grieving family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love coming from the community.
“This is overwhelming. Words cannot describe hoe we feel the love we feel at this time,” Richard said.
Bishop John Cummings offered his own insight into the girl’s tragic death.
“At this time it seems a senseless thing. But, I have learned over the years that time demystifies the mysteries that can stop our hearts,” he said.
Palache was taken into custody at the scene, police said.
Family members at Palache’s home did not open the door, but neighbors said they were disturbed by the fatal crash.
“I don’t know what his condition was. It’s very said,” Marion Hendrickson said.
The investigation is ongoing.
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