A 13-year-old was killed when her 16-year-old friend — driving with just a learner’s permit — smashed a speeding minivan into a corner house on a quiet Midwood street Sunday.
Eric Hakimisefat was charged with criminally negligent homicide shortly after the 1:40 pm accident near the corner of E. 23rd Street and Avenue P.
Hakimisefat, who faces up to four years in prison, was taking a Sunday afternoon joyride in a relative’s 2001 Honda Odyssey with his friend Yosif Erdan, who is also 16, and Yosif’s 13-year-old sister Sarah.
Police estimate Hakimisefat was driving 63 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone as he approached the corner and lost control of the car.
The Odyssey hit a parked car, hopped the curb, swiped a tree and plowed through a fence before slamming into a corner home.
“It was this huge, colossal crash,” recalled one neighbor, who would not divulge her name to reporters. “You couldn’t fathom exactly what happened.”
When the dust settled, Sarah, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was found pinned in the mangled back seat. Horrified witnesses said they could hear the young girl’s sobs at first, but everything became hauntingly quiet as firefighters pulled the young teen from the car and rushed her to an area hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Hakimisefat and Yosif were taken to Kings County Hospital with minor injuries. The teen driver was arrested once investigators learned he wasn’t licensed.
Dozens of mourners turned out in Borough Park Monday to say farewell to Sarah, the youngest of four children who lived just a block away from where she was died. Sarah’s mother was inconsolable during the service, friends said.
The death has sent both Sarah’s family as well as Hakimisefat’s into a tailspin. Feelings are exceptionally raw because both families knew each other for years, neighbors said.
Hakimisefat was released on $10,000 bail under protestations from Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office, who asked for a $25,000 bail.
When reached Monday evening, Benjamin Lieberman, who is representing Hakimisefat, said neither the teen nor his family were prepared to give a statement.