QUOGUE, N.Y. - A driver who caused a crash that killed himself and four others on Long Island in July was driving in excess of 100 mph in the seconds before impact, police said.
Justin Mendez of Shirley was driving a red Nissan Maxima that collided head-on with a Toyota Prius driven by Uber driver Farhan Zahid of Bay Shore. Zahid died along with brothers Michael Farrell, 20 and James Farrell, 25, and their friend, Ryan Kiess. All lived in Manhasset. A fourth passenger suffered serious injuries.
Newsday reported Saturday that police in Quogue, citing a State Police analysis of the Nissan’s event-data recorder, said the data showed the car was driving 106 mph just seconds before the crash, and 86 mph at the time of impact.
The speed limit on the road is 40 mph with a suggested speed of 30 mph on the curve where the accident happened. The Prius was driving 27 mph at the time of the crash, according to police.
The Farrells' father has filed a notice that he intends to sue Suffolk County, Quogue and the town's police department, and has alleged a police officer who was pursuing the 22-year-old Mendez before the crash helped precipitate the accident, the newspaper reported.
A Quogue police spokesperson told Newsday the department wouldn't be disclosing how fast the pursuing office was going. Quogue Mayor Peter Sartorius declined to comment on the matter, citing the pending litigation.