According to police, who responded to a 911 call at 11:21 p.m., passenger Geovanni Balverdy, 19, of Gibson Street in Far Rockaway and driver Billy John Perez, 19, also from Rockaway were headed eastbound in a blue 2005 Nissan 350Z.
Officers from the NYPD Highway Patrol Collision Investigation unit determined the car was traveling at a high rate of speed, possibly in excess of 80 mph or more.
Perez then lost control of the vehicle and veered sideways across the double yellow line. Sliding into oncoming traffic, the Nissan was struck on the passenger side by a westbound 2006 Kia Spectra. The impact was so great that the light gray Spectra’s engine compartment was pushed nearly up to the windshield. Both front airbags deployed.
Driver Veronica Thompson, 29, of Beach 66th Street, suffered a broken leg and was taken to Brookdale Hospital. Her passenger, 21 year old Darren Arthur of Brooklyn, was also taken by EMS to Brookdale with reported “internal pain.” Both vehicles were so tightly wedged together that firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to tear them apart and pry out the victims.
Perez, the driver of the Nissan, suffered a broken pelvis and broken ribs and was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he listed in critical but stable condition. Balverdy was also taken to St. John’s, where he died of his injuries shortly after midnight.
Eyewitness inspection after the crash showed the Nissan’s passenger side where Balverdy was sitting was pushed almost to within a foot of the car’s center console.
Both of Balverdy’s shoes were still wedged tightly in the wreckage the next morning. The sneaker laces were still neatly tied.
No arrests have been made in the incident and the investigation is still ongoing.