"R.I.P. Peter, Cak, Neal, Darian."
The names of the four Richmond Hill teens who were killed in the horrific car accident near Exit 17N of the Southern State Parkway Monday morning were spray-painted on Taylor Road in West Hempstead, just steps away from the crash site, along with the initials for Rest in Peace.
Above the names, a white arrow points to a nearby tree on the shoulder of the Southern State Parkway, where friends of the four victims -- Christopher Khan, 18, Neal Rajapa, 17, Peter Kanhai,18, and Darian Ramnarine, 18, -- recently created a makeshift memorial. At the foot of the tree they placed candles and flowers, and assembled a pile of the victims' personal possessions -- sneakers, sandals, Metro cards, gym passes, packs of Newport cigarettes, body spray and a striped sweater -- found in the wreckage, and pieces of the mangled 2012 Subaru Impreza, which split in half when the vehicle slammed into several trees after leaving the parkway.
The driver and sole survivor of the crash, Joseph Beer, 17, of Queens, reportedly failed to negotiate the curve in the road around 3:40 a.m. on Oct. 8 and lost control of the car. he was driving with a learner's permit. Although his passengers were ejected from the vehicle, Beer only suffered a head injury and was able to walk away from the crash. It appears wearing his seat belt may have saved his life. He was treated at Winthrop Hospital in Mineola and released the following evening.
Beer has not been charged in the accident at this time but according to The Wall Street Journal, investigators are seeking to expedite toxicology tests on him. Citing an unnamed law enforcement official, the WJS reported:
"Authorities have begun the process of getting a blood screen to detect any intoxicants in the system of Joseph Beer ... Toxicology tests typically take weeks to complete, but investigators Tuesday were trying to expedite the process and hoped to have results back within a few days."
Some news reports have alleged that Beer was high on on marijuana during the accident, but authorities have not confirmed this.
A law enforcement source told The New York Post, "We believe it was pot, and we are awaiting test results ...Responders to the crash noticed an odor of marijuana to the vehicle."
Funeral services were held Wednesday morning for Christopher Khan in South Ozone Park, where hundreds gathered to mourn the 18-year-old who "always had a smile on his face," reports The Queens Courier. Services for Darian Ramnarine will take place at the same funeral home this evening.