SUFFERN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A teenage yeshiva student was killed and another was seriously hurt when police said they were struck by a car as part of a chain reaction crash involving an off-duty officer in Suffern.
Police said it happened as a group of students were standing in the driveway of the yeshiva dormitory along Route 202 around 11:50 p.m. Wednesday.
That’s when a Lexus, driven by an off-duty Peekskill police officer identified as 24-year-old Jonathan Mosquera, tried to pass a Honda, driven by 19-year-old Tzvi Hakakian, as he was turning into the driveway, according to authorities.
The two cars sideswiped each other, police said. The Honda kept going, but police said the Lexus crossed the double yellow line right into the path of two of the students.
“The Lexus veers off more to the left, more sharply to the left, goes across the rest of the lane of traffic, which is now the oncoming lane of traffic, westbound,” Ramapo Police Lt. Mark Emma said. “They’re both hit by the car, they both go in different locations — the two boys end up in different locations.”
Both were taken to area hospitals where police said 17-year-old Marcos Tawil, from Argentina, was pronounced dead. His classmate, 19-year-old David Maldanado, is in critical condition.
“It’s absolutely horrible,” Emma told CBS2’s Meg Baker.
Tawil’s body is being flown out of the country for his funeral.
Mosquera’s car slid down an embankment, hitting two trees before coming to a stop, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“If you know Route 202, it is two lanes and a very, very narrow shoulder,” Emma said. “Between nothing and two feet.”
Early Thursday morning, the students’ grieving classmates had no comment.
“This is the second accident of a young person in town in the last month or so. Both are tragedies and obviously, we don’t want to see anything like this,” Emma said.
Police are looking into whether speed was a factor in the crash. They are also looking into the conditions of the vehicles and the road, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported.
Neither driver was seriously hurt and police said both passed sobriety tests, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported. Police said the off-duty cop was on his way to work at the time of the crash.
It’s not clear what the students were doing along the roadway.
So far, no charges have been filed.
Route 202 was closed in both directions between Limekiln and Wilder roads as police investigated.