Five people were killed after a car that was evading police collided into another vehicle full of teenagers in Yonkers, New York on Tuesday night.
Police initially tried to pull over a white Infiniti sedan at about 9:23 p.m. that was driving in an “erratic manner” when the driver sped off, Yonkers police said Wednesday. The department said that though officers "disengaged and did not pursue" the driver, the car continued to accelerate at “beyond reckless speeds.”
The Infiniti collided with a Nissan occupied by four 18-year-old men at an intersection at a force that caused the Nissan to split in half, police said. The teenagers died at the scene while the driver, a 36-year-old resident of Mount Vernon, was taken to a nearby hospital.
The man, identified as Devon Haywood, later died from his injuries.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano called the accident “nothing short of tragic” in a statement released by police Wednesday.
“Four young lives were cut short by the recklessness of one individual,” Spano said. “Let this be a lesson to all who drive at excessive speeds — it not only puts your life at risk but also the innocent lives with whom you share the road.”
Police identified the young men killed in the accident as Brandon Sierra, Randy Brisbane, Tamari Watkins and Anthony Cruz. Cruz was a graduate of Riverside High School and the three other teens were graduates of Saunders Trades and Technical High School.
Steven Mazzola, principal at Saunders Trades and Technical, characterized the school as a "tight knit community" in a statement issued Wednesday.
"Last night, the Saunders family lost four terrific young men in a horrific accident; Randy, Tamari, Brandon and Anthony will be missed, but will forever live in the hearts of every person who has been lucky to be a member of the Saunders family," Mazzola said.
Authorities are conducting both an internal and criminal investigation into the accident, according to Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller.