Crash Closes Cross Bay Boulevard
“It is a miracle that anyone survived that,” said one driver, commenting on the devastating three car collision that brought traffic to a standstill on Cross Bay Boulevard for more than six hours on Friday, May 10th.
According to the NYPD, at about 4:30 p.m., 17-year-old driver Gurdip Multani, speeding northbound, lost control of his vehicle, jumped across the median strip and into oncoming southbound traffic.
The white 1999 Honda Accord he was driving then collided with a black 2010 Dodge Charger and a black 2009 Suzuki SX4.
Police confirmed that nine people were injured, including Multani and the six other passengers riding in the mid-sized sedan. The front seat passenger suffered a broken leg, arm and hip. Victims were taken to Brookdale and Jamaica hospitals.
There were no fatalities.
Detective Philip Huemmer stated that Multani’s vehicle was traveling at 111 mph at the time of the accident.
The force of the impact ripped the car in half diagonally across the dashboard.
Witnesses reported that the passenger compartment was thrown one way and the forward engine section was tossed elsewhere.
Huemmer confirmed that half of the car ended up against the median. The other half landed in middle of the traffic lane.
In a statement to the District Attorney, he noted both other vehicles had sustained substantial damage.
Multani, a resident of Ozone Park, was arrested at the scene and arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Sunday, May 12th.
The complaint issued by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown charges him with second degree assault; an armed felony offense with the car classified as a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment in the first degree and speeding.
The incident occurred approximately one mile past the residential section of Broad Channel, along the portion of Cross Bay Boulevard which passes through the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Due to the road closure traffic was backed up all the way to Howard Beach.
Said Rockaway resident Ilana Bronstein, “I was the last car onto the (Joseph P. Addabbo) bridge, around 5 p.m., before they closed it.
“Eventually the police turned us around. Nobody could get through.”
Due to the severity of the accident and the police investigation which followed, the road did not re-open until sometime after 11 p.m.
One Broad Channel resident, coming back from a wedding, was caught for hours in the traffic snarl and did not reach home till nearly midnight.
“I don’t know how the driver survived,” the resident said. “The motor was over on the median. There was no sign of the driver seat.”