NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two men are dead after a speeding car slammed into a tree in Queens early Saturday morning and now, investigators are working to determine whether or not a third person in the vehicle, who fled the wreckage, was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.
The scene spans the entire intersection at 100th Avenue and 205th Place in Hollis, where police say the car first hit a tree and struck a fire hydrant before slamming into a fence and skidding into a front yard around 1 a.m.
Police said both 21-year-old James Montague and 22-year-old Blake Gary were killed in the crash.
Surveillance video obtained by CBS2 shows the car speed down 100th Avenue when it suddenly swerves and crashes.
Montague’s family was distraught as they woke up to the news their loved one had died.
“The doctor called me to tell me that my son is dead,” his mother, Nicole Ford, told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
The family told CBS2 that Montague died after he was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital Queens.
Ford said all three men in the car were friends, but claims the man who fled the scene was driving at the time of the crash.
“He’s not a friend of my son if he leaves my son here to die,” she said.
Instead of staying by Montague’s side, the family claims he showed up to their home a few blocks away to tell them what happened. They immediately rushed to the scene and saw the destruction left behind by the speeding vehicle, now split in half.
“All I know is my brother said he’d be back. I said, ‘alright see you later,’ but he didn’t come back,” Montague’s sister, Jahmeeka Hendy, said.
Montague’s family said he had big plans for the future.
“He just got his GED, he was going to college to become a forensic scientist,” Ford said.
Hendy called him her role model.
Gary’s sister, Alexis, told Roy she’s “so upset” her brother is gone.
“Blake was one of the best people I’ve ever known. He was the best brother,” she said. “There will never be anyone like him.”
Neighbors say more needs to be done to slow drivers down.
“I spoke to, I sent written letters to the DOT department, I even sent one to the commissioner, and their response was ‘they would look into it’,” Elaine Mitchel tells 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria. “Not one person got back to me yet.”
Michael Francis said city officials are aware it’s an accident prone area, but they haven’t done anything.
“For years we’ve been asking for speed bumps in the area and they haven’t,” he told 1010 WINS. “No speed bumps, and we have lots of kids on the block here.”
Police say they’ve identified the man who fled the scene, but he denies that he was behind the wheel at the time of the deadly accident.
No charges have been filed as investigators work to determine who was driving.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.