NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The man responsible for killing a Lyft passenger and injuring two others in a wrong-way crash on the Belt Parkway was sentenced on Wednesday.
The victim’s grieving family faced the driver in court to demand justice, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
Eugene Obah’s voice trembled in court as he shared photos and memories of his younger brother. His scathing words were directed at 51-year-old Aleh Sheipak, who wasn’t even brave enough to lift his head.
“If you really cared about other people’s lives, if you even cared about your own life, you would not have made the decision you made. But you did and you must pay,” Eugene Obah said.
Gerald Obah, 27, was riding in the back of a Lyft last July when Sheipak crashed into his car. Investigators said the defendant had been driving down the wrong way on the Belt Parkway for more than two miles and had a blood-alcohol content twice the legal limit.
“Let there be one less family, one less family that has to worry about Mr. Sheipak being on the road. He must be in jail,” Eugene Obah said.
The judge sentenced Sheipak to 7 to 21 years in prison. He said the facts in the case were horrendous and he thought the terms were on the lighter side.
Sheipak offered a mumbled apology in court.
“It was my first mistake, but it was a very bloody mistake,” Sheipak said.
“As far as he can make it up to us and do whatever he can do, he can’t, unless he can raise the dead,” said Andrea Obah, the victim’s sister.
The victim’s family, surrounded by friends, held back tears the entire time. They said Gerald Obah had a passion for life, loved to dance, and was living his dream in New York City, adding it’s a heavy loss they want the driver to feel for the rest of his life.
Investigators said the Lyft driver and another passenger were also seriously injured in the crash. Both suffered fractures and broken bones.