NEW YORK (VINnews) — 2 Brooklyn residents were senteneced Tuesday for causing a fatal accident that killed an engaged couple in April of 2018.
On April 4 of last year near 1:40 a.m., engaged couple Yisroel Levin, 21, and Elisheva Kaplan, 20, were returning from visiting a relative in Rockland County, when the 2017 Nissan Altima they were in was struck by Rahmel Watkins between Bay Boulevard near Rockaway Turnpike and Burnside Avenue.
Watkins was racing another vehicle driven by Zakiyyah Steward. Watkins was driving roughly 100mph when he swerved into the oncoming lane of traffic, crashing into Levin and Kaplan, killing them on impact. Their car then burst into flames.
Watkins, who was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana struck the vehicle as well.
Yisroel and Elisheva were engaged to be married just 2-3 months later.
At the sentencing, Rahmel Watkins was sentenced to 18 years. He was convicted of on four counts of second-degree assault, two counts of negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving on Sept. 24.
Zakiyyah Steward was given 3 to 9 years. Steward pleaded guilty to 17 charges ranging from manslaughter second degree, assault second-degree, reckless driving and endangerment, three vehicular traffic laws, vehicular manslaughter second-degree twice and one first-degree count, and aggravated vehicular homicide.
It should be noted that Steward had been convicted before on other crimes, including burglary. The judge in that case ignored the proscutors call for a prison sentence, instead sending her twice into a rehabilitation program. The judge subsequently admitted that he had been too lenient with her.