"We are grieving -- we lost one son, and we have one son that's wanted for something he didn't do," said a Queens mother, whose 19 year-old son is accused of crashing his 2008 Acura and leaving his mortally injured brother, 22, behind in the car as he fled the scene.
"My son will be at the precinct today with a lawyer, giving his side of the story, and we have video showing that my son wasn't driving the car," she added.
This is a classic case of two differing stories. According to the police, the 19-year-old crashed his Acura into a car and a tree on Atlantic Avenue early Sunday morning. Sources say he then flagged down a passing car and got a ride to Interfaith Medical Center -- but he allegedly didn't send help back for his brother. When police arrived at Interfaith, he was gone.
Meanwhile, the cops say, officers used the Jaws of Life to extract the 22-year-old from the car and rushed him to Jamaica Hospital. He died of his injuries.
The account given by the 19-year-old suspect's loved ones is quite different.
The 22-year-old's former boss told the New York Daily News what she had heard from the boys' mother, who was not available to speak to the press. According to her, the 19-year-old was pulled unconscious from the Acura and taken to the hospital by an unknown savior. He had no way of knowing what happened to his brother.
"She told me that he went to the hospital and he was unconscious in the beginning," said the woman, who had employed the deceased young man as a contractor for six months. "When he got there, he called her, saying we got into a car accident and I don't know where [the brother] is."
In a crash serious enough for the Jaws of Life to be employed on a passenger, it would not be at all surprising for another occupant of the vehicle to be severely injured. He might have been conscious at one point but now is unable to remember it due to an injury. The person he allegedly flagged down might have been mistaken about the circumstances.
Because there is a possible innocent explanation, there are a number of areas the police will need to carefully investigate before any charges should be brought in this case. The driver remains at large.