Midwood, NY – Emotional Funeral for Sarah Erdan, 13, Killed by Speeding Teenager

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    The funeral today in front of Shomrai Hadas ChapelMidwood, NY – The teenage speed demon who killed a 13-year-old passenger when he plowed a minivan into a Brooklyn house will be treated as an adult in court, (as was reported by Vos Iz Neias).

    Eric Hakimisefat was arraigned Monday in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving and speeding in the death of Sarah Erdan.

    Hakimisefat, 16, of Brooklyn, also was charged with operating a motor vehicle out of class, meaning he should have had a parent or guardian with him because he only had a state-issued junior driver’s permit.

    Bail was set at $10,000 for Hakimisefat and it wasn’t immediately clear if he posted bond. His next court date is Dec. 6.

    No adults were with Hakimisefat on Sunday when he barrelled down E. 23rd St. at speeds of up to 63 mph – twice the speed limit on the one-way, single-lane strip – with Sarah and her 16-year-old brother, Yosif.

    Under the law, Hakimisefat cannot have more than one passenger younger than 21 in the car.

    Also, Sarah was not wearing a seat belt when Hakimisefat crashed the Honda Odyssey, sources said.

    Hakimisefat totaled the van around 1:45 p.m. Sunday, around the corner from Sarah’s house on Quentin Rd. in Midwood.

    “It was this huge, colossal crash,” said one neighbor, who didn’t want to give her name. “You couldn’t fathom exactly what happened.”

    Police said the minivan crashed into the rear of a parked car, sideswiped a tree and plowed through a fence before slamming into the porch of a house at 1620 E. 23rd St.

    Neighbor Nina Einhorn, 24, said the driver and Sarah’s 16-year-old brother tried desperately to pull Sarah from the van, but she appeared to be trapped in the rear seat.

    “They were screaming, ‘Help her! Help her!’ ” said Einhorn. “She [Sarah] was crying in the car, but then we couldn’t hear her anymore.”

    Firefighters pulled the girl from the van.

    Sarah was the youngest of the four children, said Rachel Bonayan, a neighbor of Sarah’s Orthodox Jewish family.

    Mayer Berger of the group Chesed Shel Emes, which prepares members of the Jewish community for burial, said he tried to console Sarah’s family at the hospital.

    “They were devastated,” Berger said. “They can’t believe what happened. The mom was screaming, ‘I can’t believe this is happening! This is a dream.’ ”

    Sarah’s brother and Hakimisefat were treated for minor injuries at Kings County Hospital and released. The teenage driver passed a Breathalyzer test, police said.

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    75 COMMENTS

    1. The driver is a rodef and we must daven that the judge gives him the proper punishment so he can get the right Kapora

      A few years ago a boy in EY was charged with driving without a license (b’h no one was killed in the accident) and was facing jail time – the boy went for a brocha by rav chaim, that he should be spared jail, rav chaim called the boy a rodef and told him the only brocha I can give is that the judge should give you the proper punishment

    2. Rabboisai. you need to watch your teens. They have to be taught that a car is not a toy. My 16 year old bothers me everyday to drive and i tell him without me your’e not going anywhere. Even when i am with him i only let him drive in deserted areas or empty parking lots. He knows the consequences of even just starting the car when i am not around. WATCH THEM! PLEASE!

    3. What a horrible tragedy R”L
      This beautiful girl to be cut down in the prime of life is so hard to understand.
      Cannot even fathom how the families are coping.
      Yidden.
      When you are driving a car you are in control of a potentially dangerous weapon that can harm third parties both inside and outside the vehicle besides yourself.
      How this boy was able to drive without an adult present will be a lifelong burden of guilt and torment for the driver’s family.
      I forgot which gadol said that one is mechuyev to bentch gomel when one arrives safely after journeying by car.
      I know that each and every one of you are feeling tremendous pain and more than a few are shedding actual tears by reading about this horrible event.
      The eybishter controls the world and only He can explain why this had to happen.
      The next time we are davening, take a moment in Shema Koleinu to ask Hashem to send nechama to this family and to every family such as the one that lost their child in the fire last week R”L. and to end this bitter golus.
      Hashem loves every single Yid and it is our job to try and emulate Him irregardless if that Yid dresses or davens or behaves a bit differently.
      There is no other solution

    4. Tragically, this boy wanted to be a “grown-up” so he drove unsupervised. Now he’s getting his wish to be treated as an adult, only never in a way he wanted. Once again, it’s another situation where everyone’s a loser. How much more horrible can it be? My heart goes out to both families.

      • Why would you say something like that do you even know why he was driving that car or as to what his intentions were, or do you just want the public to hear what you have to say. ( in a pathetic way) ( I’m sorry but you are absolutely wrong and insensitive )

    5. To all of those people running to say that the kid driver should be locked up for a long time stop and think a bit if you would only know how hard its in prison for Jewish people specifically Frum ones you wouldn’t be jumping to lock him up what he needs is a good slap and some serious community service combined with some sort of long term license revocation I have only been in a prison once B’H as a visitor but trust me its hell on the inside I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone unless the person has no chance of outside rehabilitation

    6. 63 in a 30? How many of us at one point or another havent done 63 in a 30?

      Never late to work or have to pee?

      True, this young man did it out of immaturity and inexperience – why is that any worse than being late to work or having to use the bathroom.

      Trying him as an adult? Why? If he is not old enough to drink, join the military, vote, or otherwise be a part of society – why should he be tried as an adult? Because he made a bad decision?!? Children under 18 MAKE bad decisions, which is precisely why we do not allow them to vote, drink, or join the military in the first place. Enough with the hypocrisy.

      We already have one tragedy, we do not need another. A big money judgment against the boy, garnishing of his wages for many years, community service, and the emotional pain are enough of a “lesson”.

    7. for all those that say he should get the max in prison: let me tell you, try it for a few hours and you’ll change your mind. I sat in jail for 18 hrs. (for something i didnt do) and it wasnt fun, i would never wish it upon anyone else

    8. #6 — You say, “Hashem loves every single Yid.” True, but He also loves every human being (those deserving of His love, of course). Oh, I forgot for a minute where I am and what we frum Yidden have become — a group of insular haters who think G-d is only concerned with us and to heck with 99-plus percent of His creation. I’m glad I was raised a frum Jew, because if I were a non-frum Jew or a non-Jew who came across many of the comments here, I would think that Torah and frumkeit are narrow, hate-filled things, G-d forbid.

      • #12
        Nowhere in my comment do I imply or infer that a non Jew should be hated. No for that matter a non frum Jew.
        Did I state that He loves only frum Yidden anywhere?
        I wonder why you harbor such sentiments towards all frum Yidden?
        However, this is certainly not the forum for this topic.

      • To #18

        I am sure you truly believe what you have posted but you are wrong.
        As every cheder yingel knows from parshas Mishpatim ,the Torah actually says that if you seriously injure someone we must wait and see what happens i.e. whether that person dies or not.That person will then be punished based on the victim’s status.
        So a person is punished for the result of their actions.

    9. No. 8. Its also hell to have your daughter killed by a wimp that drove so ridiculously fast without even having a license. You are having misplaced pity. Typical liberal mindset. Blame everyone for the tragedy Hashem, the parents, our sins, the Rabbis, the school, everyone. Just not the pipsqueak that did such a terrible thing.

      Accidents happen and are unfortunate. But when you shoot a loaded gun while pointing it at someones head, that is not an accident.

    10. #9 It wasn’t fun? Duh! That’s why they call it jail.
      # 8 you must be out of your mind – how about the suffering of the girl’s family? He suffers but is also a musar haskel to others. What he did was illegal and reckless.

    11. I find it difficult to reconcile the sentiments expressed by commenter #8 with reality.

      Is TheRealJoel123 implying that the Jewish boy who is alleged (repeat, alleged: nothing has been proven in court yet) to have caused the death of his passenger above the law? Is TheRealJoel123 telling us that this boy should not go to prison – if he is found guilty – because he is Jewish?

      If that is the case then, with respect, I suggest that such an idea shows arrogance and a total disrespect for civil law. Such action does nothing to endear the Jewish community to the rest of America. In fact, it could well be a cause of anti-Semitism.

    12. #8. Prison is not supposed to be fun. It is not only for rehabilitation but for punishment. It is not enough to say that prison is hard for a Jew. That alone should cause a frum Jew from breaking the law. It is not enough to keep him out of prison.

    13. All of you seem to be under the impression that one must be punished for the results of one’s actions. But this is not the Torah way.

      The boy must be punished for his actions, not for the results of his actions.

      His actions: negligence, foolishness, immaturity.

      Result of actions: accidental death.

      The punishment must be the same whether or not there is a resulting death. Why do we discriminate on the unlucky wrongdoers who happen to have a resulting death? They are no more wrong than those who perform the same negligent acts WITHOUT resulting death. The punishment must be the same.

      AND HERE IS THE PROOF:
      The whole reason Teshuva works in the eyes of Hashem, is because Hashem views our wrongful intentions as the crime, not the result. Thus, if one intentionally murder someone, one can be forgiven. why? because the dead guy was destined to die and the perpetrator is not punished for his death….he is punished for the act of intending to kill….however, with proper teshuva, he can be forgiven despite the fact that he can not bring the person back to life, because the resultant death is not an issue.

    14. for all of you who agree that the poor boy should get sentenced and he deserves what he is about to get, just think for a second; if this was your child chas v’shalom would u be saying the same thing? something tells me not.

    15. I have never EVER driven 60 mph or even higher than perhaps 40 – 45 mph on these single lane side streets like E 23 Street. It is so OBVIOUSLY unsafe.

      When you KILL A GIRL you deserve some punishment more than a slap on the wrist. You’ve injured the entire family and the entire extended family and community. Or does no one ever deserve secular judgement for their malicious thoughtless deeds?

      And yes, Jail isn’t fun.

      (And, #11, I hope I am never on the sidewalk when you are driving. 60 on those side streets – are you out of your mind?)

    16. Ok so you admit going 45. So if you think the boy should get 5 years in prison, perhaps you should get 2.5 years since u were going half as fast and also have acted negligently?

      Busted

    17. the speed limit is 30. it could have just as easily been 35 or 40. He might not have been going 63…it might have been 57

      before ya know it, its only a 17mph over the limit infraction. not so bad. this ticket is routinely plea bargained down to a 2 or 3 point violation and gemarnu.

    18. If anything, driving fast on a side street is safer than an avenue. It is less busy, less cars, etc. In a certain respect, it is much safer if there were no cars on the road and i bet there werent

      Id bet that on an average day, there are a significant handful of vehicles driving 55 or more on side streets. buy a 55$ radar gun and see for yourself. maybe we should just imprison 15% of the population? oh i forgot,,,,we already do

    19. Poster # 18 (Anonymous); Your statements are so ridiculous that I must conclude you are the ultimate cynic. Not even one line in your post is written by someone with rational thinking. A cynic is called a לץ in Hebrew. A cynic is irreverent. Has no respect and is underhanded. Rashi speaks of the ליצני הדור The cynics of a particular generation. Or, their cynicism was world class.

      p.s.: Sorry about my little essay on cynics and cynicism. But this poster (the one I’m reacting to writes in the spirit of some other visitors who are so self-conscious and let all their prejudice and (unwarranted) feelings of guilt towards religious Jews come out. As part of the other attributes that they hang on the religious Jewish community is that they are dumb.

    20. OY VEY, Raboisai, some compassion for the families of these victims please. I beg, this is NOT the right forum to debate your opinions – right, wrong or other. Family members from both sides DO read these posts. It serves no constructive purpose and only adds insult to injury, accomplishing nothing.

      Perhaps agree to meet privately in person and have a one-on-one, but KEEP IT OFF THE BLOGS.

      Mr. Moderator, please do your hishtadlus in screening the posts.

    21. reply to 27

      Please cite the verse so I can respond. The “every cheder yingel” argument is almost as good as the “everybody knows” argument.

      Cite the verse so I can show you have clearly misinterpreted the passuk.

    22. reply to 21:

      Not true. The premise is not off. If an accidental non negligent DEATH results, there is no punishment. According to your crooked thinking, if a death occurs, why should there be no punishment absent negligence?

      Clearly, it is not the result that warrants punishment, but rather the intent. Sometimes, extreme negligence can take the place of intent; however, it needs to be extreme such as going 90mph drunk.

      Driving over the speed limit in and of itself is not even close to enough; this is even more so true for a driver who is only 16!!

    23. #25: instead of defining what cynicsm is, and what a letz is, (and even having the nerve to throw in Rashi), why dont you explain WHY you think my comment is ridiculous.

    24. For all of the posters who talk about the driver’s immaturity and then try to protect him under the guise of halacha, it’s my understanding that once bar mitzvah, a boy is treated as a man – he is completely responsible for his own actions.

      As for his level of responsibility within halacha, there is no community service punishment available. Argue death penalty, monetary reparations, or ir miklat, but not community service. Perhaps mercy is reasonable (accidental manslaughter – yes, he is responsible for the result of his actions), so send him to an ir miklat until the death of the current kohen gadol rather than having a beit din sentence him to death (for intentional murder). Oh wait, that’s not possible. At least the victim’s family will then be allowed to kill him themselves. Oh wait, that’s a violation of American law. Perhaps the prison time will be a substitute for the time that should be spent in an ir miklat.

      Sounds like the best compromise to me…

    25. #28. He will be tried as an adult because in New York an adult is defined as a person 16 years or older. If a person who is 16-19 is convicted he/she may be granted “Youthful Offender” status. That would cancel the criminal conviction , but not necessarily any jail time, but it is an option the court has.

    26. Ok, just want to comment on one point EVERYONE missed. WEAR A SEAT BELT!!!! It saves lives!

      Was the boy at fault or not and how he should be punished is up to g-d and the judges. What clearly was a contributing factor was she was not wearing a seat belt. It is important to teach our kids to ALWAYS wear it, even if it does not look cool or it might wringle our jackets. Seat belts save more lives than not.

    27. #36. How right you are. Twenty five years ago I was prosecuting a case where one of the witnesses was a highway cop, We started talking about seat belts. He asked me if I had any children. When I said yes he told me that if I was a concerned father I would make sure that I never got into a car without making sure that all the passengers were belted. He told me that in twenty years of police work he had seen many accidents where people were killed but never one where he had to cut a dead person out of a seat belt. I took his statement to heart.

    28. @11 and 22. Its a rachmanus on this boy that he had to learn this lesson the hard way. His suffering will in no way compare to that of this 13 year old girl and her family. The way people drive in Brooklyn is reckless plain and simple. It is foolish, immature, reckless and criminal to drive 60MPH in a 25 or 30 zone. # 11 if you think this is reasonable under any circumstance than you are the problem and the exception BTW. No conscientious person would do that. And to #22 there is a huge difference between 40/45 and 60. Actually there is no comparison in a 25/30 zone. Not that 40 is acceptable but still a world of difference. A life or death difference. You are not above the law and stop teaching this reckless disregard for the law to your children.

    29. I am so sorry for both families they both lost children to such a tragedy. We should only hear good things and everybody should thank hashem for what you have. Tell the people you have in your life that you love TELL THEM EVERY DAY THAT YOU LOVE THEM!!! too many tragedies…

    30. To number 30, you are wrong! We had enough of your type sweeping all the scandals that kill Yidden under the rug. If you think this is Lashan Harah, then don’t read it!

    31. To Our Local Orthodox Censor,

      When you open your own blog, you can chose to censor what you want. Until then, I think Vos does a great job of filtering bad comments, and usually posts only the witty ones which add to the flavor of the article.

      None of these comments that I have seen are out of line….

      Although i do diagree feverishly with all the comments that believe a 16 year old speeder deserves even one day in jail

      In fact, the more recent vos article just posted says that “Drivers routinely travel at 20 miles over the speed limit on the bigger avenues with scant worry of being ticketed.”

      Do you know what ROUTINELY means? it means it happens a lot and average joe shmos do it all the time. You think this 16 yr old speeder belongs in prison with rapists, drug dealers and killers for a traffic violation that is ROUTINELY done?
      Not to mention the fact that I see people ROUTINELY going 20mph over the speed limit with older early 90’s model cars. This was a newer model minivan; thus, 33mph over in a new minivan is the same thing as 20mph over in an older car (which doesnt have anti lock brakes and various other safety features).

    32. l agree with # 11,plus l would like to stay perhaps the brake went out of control we do have to give the benefit of a doubt,even if we can’t see it,everything comes from hashem,so we have to do more teshuvoh, imminent geula now

    33. to #43 and #11:

      You really are idiots. How many of us have sped? many. How many got caught? many. Do drivers get a free pass when pulled over by saying everyone else speeds, why give ME a ticket? no. they get a ticket.

      The brakes might have failed? are you on drugs? a 16 year old going 65 mph on a side street is AIMING his car, nor driving it. He was anyway not legally allowed to drive, or to have three underage passengers in his car.

      There is no benefit of the doubt here. A young, sweet girl was killed by a reckless, negligent driver who was driving illegally without a license. He killed her as surely as if he shot her with a gun. Why are you making excuses for him?

      You are very smug about giving the benefit of the doubt, and everything comes from hashem, and we need to do more tshuva now. You do tshuva now. I’m sure you would be so forgiving of this reckless worthless driver if Gd forbid he killed your 13 year old.

    34. Nobody or at least I don’t have do to teshuvah for a reckless, undesciplined driver who either was too dumb or too arrogant to understand the potential lethal effect a car has. Who failed are his parents or the driving teacher. There are monitors which can be installed in car and will monitor the driver’s action.

    35. Poster # 33 (Anonymous); I will cite just one example from your previous post (# 18) why I think you’re a cynic. You state (I’m paraphrasing) that if someone kills another person intentionally, Tshuva helps and the murderer is forgiven. Don’t you know that it states in the Torah that intentional murder can only be mitigated by executing the murderer???!!! Your post is otherwise filled with irrational statements and twisted logic. Which leads me to the conclusion that I have come to.

    36. How judgmental some people are. I’m truly shocked, especially at this time of year, at the calls for severe punishment for this poor boy. Where are the Jewish hearts?
      This boy will have to live with himself for the rest of his life knowing that he caused a death. In my opinion this is the ultimate punishment. A youthful mistake, that will define his life forever.
      Until we’ve walked in somebody else’s shoes, we have no right to judge.
      This was a very tragic accident. This boy has the rest of his life ahead of him I”H.

    37. #47:

      A youthful mistake? A girl is dead. Do you think that her family thinks that it’s just a youthful mistake?

      The 16-year-old driver was not supposed to be driving.

      It was the responsibility of the 16-year-old and his parents to be familiar with the NYS DMV laws for driving in NYC. A 16-year-old person has a Junior Permit or a Junior License, which means that at all times in NYC, the driver is required to only drive a car with dual controls (brakes), supervised by a licensed driver age 21 or over, like a parent, guardian, or driver’s ed instructor. Do you think that the NYS DMV makes up age restrictions and regional restrictions because it has nothing else to do all day? A motor vehicle can C”V become a killing machine in the wrong hands.

    38. The comment that the “girl was not wearing a seat belt” reminds me of those who argue that the survivors came out alive so they can collect/claim reparations from the Germans. The perpretator of this horrible accident violated the principal that a driver must obey traffic laws.

    39. reply to 47:

      “A youthful mistake? a girl is dead”: the death does not make it a non youthful mistake.

      “The 16-year-old driver was not supposed to be driving.”
      This SUPPORTS the argument that it was a youthful mistake. Thank you.

      Everything else in your post also supports the notion that it was a youthful mistake. We know he was speeding and violated the NYS DMV ordinance of not having someone in the car. That is the definition of a careless mistake.

    40. to #46

      You need to brush up on your conceptual understanding of teshuva because it is weak. I reccomend The Shmuz discussing the concept of teshuva.

      After you fully understand the mechanics of teshuva, and understand that the unfortunate death of the girl would have happened with or without the 16 year old kid, you will better understand the concept of teshuva.

      You think the holocaust would not have happened if not for hitler? HAHAHHAHAHA good one. Your whole world view is crum. This explains why you think my post is “ridiculous”

    41. to #49:

      I disagree. The comment that the girl was not wearing a seatbelt is relevant. There is a concept in tort law called “contributory negligence”

      By not wearing her seatbelt, she was contributorily negligent, and a lawsuit against the perpetrator could arguably result in less damages. So your implication that it is totally irrelevant is misguided

    42. reply to 44:

      “I’m sure you would be so forgiving of this reckless worthless driver if Gd forbid he killed your 13 year old.”

      The issue is not whether family members of a victim must forgive or not. That is a philosophical question that hasnt been broached. The issue is the culpability of a 16 year old driver who was speeding, the appropriate punishment for such an action.

      When you analyze the issues, you do not make reckless irrelevant emotionally charged statements like “I’m sure you would be so forgiving of this reckless worthless driver if Gd forbid he killed your 13 year old.”

    43. reply to 46:

      Teshuva does help. The fact that such person must be killed in order to finalize the teshuva, does not detract from the notion that an intentional murderer CAN IN FACT be forgiven in the eyes of Hashem.

      And if true, that an intentional murderer, can be forgiven in the eyes of Hashem, this proves that the RESULT (such as a death) is not what is being judged, because the RESULT cannot be undone.

      According to you, how can one be forgiven if the result cannot be undone (regardless of what punishment must be inflicted on the perpetrator)?

      NOTHING TO SAY??

    44. I wonder how many would be pleading the case of the 16 year old if he were not Jewish. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying… This is a real tragedy for all involved and there are no simple answers.
      My heart breaks for this young girl’s family – no punishment will ever bring their daughter back. And for the young man, regardless of what the courts find, he will always have to live with the knowledge and memory that his actions caused the death of this young girl.

    45. Poster/s # 51 & 54 (Anonymous); You’re misreading the target of my comment. I was addressing the concept of Intentional murder vs. Un-intentional homicide. (מזיד vs. שוגג ). I was not discussing the status of the driver in this specific case, which the highest charge that can be thrown at him is “Negligent Homicide”. Because he did not set out with the intention of the tragic result. At worst, he was extremely negligent.
      As opposed to the statement by poster # 18, to which I reacted.

    46. reply to #52:

      You really are an idiot, and are a perfect example of the saying “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.

      There was no “contributory negligence” here, as there is no requirement to wear a seatbelt in the back seat of a car. Not to mention that this was not negligent, it was criminal, as he was breaking I don’t know how many laws by driving without a license at high speed with underage kids in the car.

      I hope you are just a pompous fool mouthing off stupidities and not a real attorney, for the sake of any clients you might have if you were one.

      How you can even attempt to partially blame the beautiful 13-year-old passenger, a”h,, for causing or “contributing to” the accident or her own passing is stupidity of a magnitude I cannot even begin to describe. It’s a good thing you posted anonymously and no one knows the actual identity of the stupidest commenter on VIN.

    47. reply to #56:

      if you’re not discussing this specific case, why are you posting here? Are you a big posek that needs to explain halacha to us?

      This is a tragedy of monumental proportions. Your philosophical ramblings should be discussed with your chavrusah, as they are not relevant to this discussion.

      And you, and the other gedolim who think they should be teaching us halacha by showing off the little they remember from yeshiva should find a better place to play with other.

      And, by the way, your knowledge of civil and criminal law is as poor as your knowledge of halacha. The driver was already charged with AT LEAST criminally negligent homicide, and that is NOT the “highest” charge that can be “thrown” at him. I have no idea who is feeding you this erroneous, ridiculous information.

      By the way, if it is decided that that his actions were criminal, look up what happens when a person is killed even accidently and/or unintentionally during the commission of a crime.

    48. reply to 57:

      “There was no “contributory negligence” here, as there is no requirement to wear a seatbelt in the back seat of a car”
      just because it is not required by law, that does not mean it cannot be negligent not to do it. A seat belt in a back seat of a car has been proven to save lives, despite the fact that the law does not require it; presumably, the law does not require it because it is LESS dangerous not to wear it in the back…but that does’nt mean she was not contributorily negligent. The law does not disallow reading a book while walking in the street…but if i did that and bumped into someone and injured them, that’s nonetheless negligence.

      “Not to mention that this was not negligent, it was criminal, as he was breaking I don’t know how many laws”
      here too, you are wrong. The fact that something is a crime, does not mean it is negligence. Going 31mph in a 30mph zone is a “crime”, but there is no negligence. Besdies, noone is debating whether the driver was negligent; clearly he was…The comment in post 52 was merely stating the fact that the girls failure to wear a seatbelt is, in some respects, relevant.

    49. reply to 55

      Clearly, you have not been paying attention to all the arguments in favor of the driver. The fact that he is jewish has absolutely no bearing on these arguments in favor of the boy. But since you brought it up, I wonder what all these bloodthirsty nuts would say if the girl that was niftar was NOT jewish.

      If this was a DUI, I would agree that he deserves jail time. Why? Because there is a good percentage that driving drunk will cause an accident and death.

      But speeding, while it may increase the chance of an accident, it is not a significant risk of accident. Ive travelled hundreds of thousands of miles and routinely go over the speed limit, yet (bli ayin hora) no accidents.

      And lastly, everyone here that wants to throw the book at this guy: have you not even considered WHY he was speeding? isnt it possible he was in immense pain or rushing to some semi emergency? we do not even know all the facts.

    50. In a case where the defendant driver was charged with criminally negligent homicide, The Court of Appeals held:

      “…..his (driver’s) excess speed alone was insufficient to sustain his convictions for criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault under Penal Law §§ 125.10, 120.00(3).”

      The defense rests.

    51. This case is extremely similar to this one. By the way, Cabrera is NOT jewish, and I am nonetheless pleased with the courts decision!

      “While driving to a lake, defendant, a 17-year old, had four teenage passengers in his vehicle. None of the passengers wore a seat belt. During the trip, defendant lost control of the vehicle, which then slid down a 25- to 30-foot embankment, killing three of the passengers and critically injuring the fourth. The Court of Appeals found that defendant’s behavior was certainly negligent, and unquestionably blameworthy. However, the violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 501-b(2), by having more than two underage passengers and failing to ensure that they buckled their seat belts, did not cause or contribute to the risk of the accident. His excess speed, by itself, was insufficient to sustain his convictions for criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault under Penal Law §§ 125.10, 120.00(3). Accordingly, the Appellate Division erred in affirming those convictions.

      OUTCOME: The order was modified by dismissing the three counts of criminally negligent homicide and the count of third-degree assault, and vacated the sentences

    52. Interestingly, people v cabrera has been distinguished in cases involving drivers who are experienced or “should know better.”

      “Moreover, the case at bar is unlike the situation in the case of People v Cabrera (10 NY3d 370, 887 N.E.2d 1132, 858 N.Y.S.2d 74), which is relied upon by the dissent, wherein a young inexperienced driver entered “a tricky downhill curve . . . at a rate of speed well in excess of a posted warning sign” (id. at 378). The defendant herein was neither a young nor an inexperienced driver,”

      But in this case, it is identical to the cabrera case where the driver was young and inexperienced, etc. The prosecution should drop the charges – it is downright frivolous in light of this court of appeals case.

    53. Another case of an underage driver speeding (approximate 32mph over the speed limit, almost exactly the same as here), and the Courts decision:

      OVERVIEW: Defendant, who was 17 at the time, had left school early with two friends as passengers in his car. Defendant was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in the death of his two passengers and a passenger in another vehicle. While no indicia of drug or alcohol involvement was found, an accident reconstructionist indicated that defendant was driving 82-87 miles per hour (mph) just prior to the accident in a 55 mph zone. Upon consideration, the court found the evidence was legally insufficient under CPL 70.10(1) to support the charges of criminally negligent homicide and assault in the third degree. Based on existing case law, defendant’s conduct did not fall within the definition of criminal negligence under Penal Law § 15.05(4) because some additional affirmative act had to have been taken by defendant to transform his speeding into dangerous speeding.

      OUTCOME: The court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss as to the three counts of criminally negligent homicide and assault in the third degree.

    54. To the two 16 yr. old boys:
      I feel for you. there is nothing so hard as learning to grow up in just a few seconds. Please know that we are praying for you & your famlies. Know that what happened was not a mistake; it was meant to be and is a clear lesson for anyone who was or will ever be in a postion to do something like this. You taught our community a strong lesson. I wish you both all the best.

    55. reply to #61 (and 62, 63…) the defense may rest, but the defense loses.

      Maybe going at high speed is not enough by itself, but here the driver was not licensed, not allowed to drive without an adult, and not allowed to even have three underage passengers in the car. Going at high speed alone may not have been enough, but driving without a license is, and THAT makes it different from Cabrerra:

      This driver was not legally allowed to drive. The fact that he had a permit or junior license which required an adult with him at all times made clear that he was not considered ready or experienced enough to drive alone by anyone’s standards, and he should never have gotten behind the wheel in the first place.

      So much for the “same case” as Cabrerra!

    56. reply to 66

      Cabrera also had a Junion license and in fact had the same restrictions as with the driver in this case.

      “Cabrera’s junior license imposed several restrictions: as relevant here, the holder of a class DJ license, which “shall automatically become a [normal, unrestricted noncommercial] license when the holder becomes eighteen years of age” (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 501 [vi] [emphasis added]), may not operate a vehicle with more than two passengers under 21 years of age who are not members of the junior licensee’s immediate family, and must ensure that all passengers have buckled their seat belts (see Vehicle and Traffic Law § 501-b [2]). But on this trip to the lake, none of Cabrera’s four passengers–a 14 year old, a 15 year old, a 17 year old and an 18 year old–wore a seat belt. Cabrera himself did. “

      The defense rests. And wins.

    57. reply to 66

      People v Badke held that “because some additional affirmative act had to have been taken by defendant to transform his speeding into dangerous speeding.”

      What act transformed defendant’s speeding to dangerous speeding? Both Badke and Cabrera dealt with very young inexperienced drivers; having a junior license is not and cannot be an affirmative act that makes defendants speeding more dangerous. Not having a full license is not an “affirmative act”

      P.S. I am not the defense and am not in any way associated with the defense.

      “the defense rests” is just a cliche phrase i used to be cute.

    58. You people are idiots.

      A beautiful young girl is gone, and you morons are running a mock court to show off how smart you think you are.

      If youa are lawyers, then go offer representation to the driver and tell him you are positive you can get him off. Then tell the district attorney’s office they don’t know the law in charging the driver with reckless homicide.

      In fact, do it even if you are not a lawyer. Just don’t do it here.

    59. reply to 69

      When you take a position that you believe strongly in, you can opt to be a pipsqueek and keep your opinions silent. (or you can move to iran where your opinion can be silented by force) Here in America, Id prefer to make my opinions public and try to convince others as to the veracity of my position.

      And a beautiful boy’s life hangs in the balance, at least in part predicated on public opinion. I hope all of my posts here have swayed public opinion because just as the Torah says “uni Kimais” (a pauper is like dead), a jailed person is Kimais too.

      So let’s not make two wrongs equal a right.

    60. reply to #70:

      I posted #69 that you are criticizing, and you’re an even bigger idiot than the others.

      You misuse “veracity” (a person wants to convince people of the correctness of his position, not the truth of his position. veracity means the truth of something); a boy’s life does NOT hang in the balance, and what happens to him depends on a judge or jury, and not at all on public opinion.

      Your posts have not swayed public opinion, since you posts are anonymous, so no one which posts are yours, or which are connected.

      the Torah does not say say “uni kimais”, the phrase is “ani choshuv kemais”, and it is not in the Torah.

      Even if it were, there is no logical connection between “ani choshuv kimais” and your fabrication that “a jailed person is kimais too”, unless you have decided you are entitled to write new parts (according to you) to the Torah – I mean, you just made that up – how could it be from the Torah?

      And what in the world are you talking about two wrongs making a right? What are two two wrongs you perceive in your defective thought processes?

    61. reply to 71

      ” You misuse “veracity”
      Not true. It can be truth or also be used to mean accuracy

      “a boy’s life does NOT hang in the balance, and what happens to him depends on a judge or jury, and not at all on public opinion.”
      What an inane comment. Of course public opinion can sway a potential juror, judge etc

      “Your posts have not swayed public opinion, since you posts are anonymous”
      Ridiculous! My ARGUMENTS are what is swaying opinion, not who I am.

      “the Torah does not say “uni kimais”, the phrase is “ani choshuv kemais”, and it is not in the Torah.”
      Choshuv translates to ‘is considered’ and is redundant… and it is a principle expounded upon by Sages with Daas Torah and Torah principles. Happy now?

      ” there is no logical connection between “ani choshuv kimais” and your fabrication that “a jailed person is kimais too”,
      Its a Kal V’chomer: If a poor person is like dead, certainly a jailed person is like dead.

      “And what are you talking about two wrongs making a right? What are two two wrongs you perceive in your defective thought processes?”
      It is ‘wrong’ that she has been taken from us. Taking the boy away too, is another ‘wrong’ that will not undo the 1st.

    62. reply to #72:

      You really are an idiot.

      You misuse English, you misquote the Torah, you misunderstand simple logic, and you SURELY don’t understand Kal Vechomer, based on your attempt to make a kal vachomer with the Kal (chas vesholom) being the Torah and the Chomer being you, the two of which are not only in no way related, but you are a simpleton and incredibly disrespectful to argue that If the Torah says A is true, then SURELY MY opinion B MUST be true, since if you believe the Torah’s A, then surely it follows how much MORE SO you must believe my opinion B.

      But then, anyone who makes an argument that “if you believe the Torah, then how much more so you must believe me” as a kal vochomer is obviously delusional and severely mentally defective, and there is no point discussing this (or anything) with you any further.

      I suggest you seek professional help immediately, and I wish you a refuah shlaimah.

    63. reply to 73

      Your resort to petty character assasinations has revealed your immaturity and inability to reason with clarity.

      The Kal Vchomer is if a Poor person who merely lacks money is considered like a Mais, then surely someone in Jail – – who has no access to money, no possessions while imprisoned, is subject to danger and humiliations, is surrounded by dangerous lowlives of moral disrepute, – surely he is also considered like a Mais

    64. to #74

      That is not a Kal Vochomer, maybe it is to you. maybe #73 sound very harsh, but his point is valid.

      You are not qualified to make a halachic “kal vochomer”, and by your logic, a pilot is like a mais while flying, a swimmer while swimming, etc. A person who goes to Israel with only a credit card is according to you a mais, since he has no access to his money or possessions there, just a credit card that allows him to borrow money from American Express or a bank

      Also, a prisoner today has money and possessions and is far from a poor person so long as he still owns the possessions he has outside. And a sixteen year old who is supported by family and/or friends (he surely doesn’t support himself while going to school) may have no significant money or possessions, but he is not considered a poor person in or out of jail.

      Do you really consider Madoff a poor person, like a mais? Do you consider Rubashkin a dead person?

      I have to agree that your logic is rridiculous and makes no sense.

    65. #74 – so everyone in jail is considered a mais? because they are all in the same boat, all are “subject to danger and humiliations” and are “surrounded by dangerous lowlives of moral disrepute”

      so as you say, they are ALL “considered like a mais”?

      Please explain.

    66. reply to 75 & 76

      Are you trying to disprove my kal vchomer to show how sweet jail is?
      Obviously “Ani Kimais” is not literal. A poor person is not dead. A jailed person is not dead.

      The point is jail is bad. freedom is good.

      Jail is not an appropriate punishment for this young man as clearly set forth in People v Cabrera and People v Badke.

      If i was the defense attorney i would sue the city for malicious prosecution; the case law on this issue is clear and not debateable.

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