Brooklyn Man Charged with Killing his Friend in DWI crash
I can not stress this enough, please talk to your children about driving drunk. This crash happened very close to my home and I have children who are the same age as these young men involved. Males aged 18-26 are the most expensive to insure because they are the most dangerous drivers. We must make sure our kids know that if they’ve been drinking they need to have a designated driver, or take an Uber or a cab home. This is a travesty! Don’t let it happen you!
For the full article read below:
A Nassau jury on Thursday found a Brooklyn man who didn’t attend his own trial guilty of killing his friend in a high-speed, drunken-driving parkway crash on Thanksgiving in 2014.
Bilal Hassan, 24, now faces up to 25 years in prison for the wreck that prosecutors said happened after he drove while highly intoxicated and at 133 miles an hour.
The crash ended the life of Malih Takkouche, 24, of Brooklyn, as the friends headed home from a nightclub.
Authorities said the early-morning holiday wreck happened after Hassan sped past a state trooper’s car while driving with a revoked license and without an ignition interlock device he had been ordered to use after a previous drunken-driving conviction.
State troopers found Hassan’s crushed and burning Infiniti Q50 in a ravine near ramps for the Meadowbrook State Parkway and Southern State Parkway, with both occupants heavily entrapped.
“A 24-year-old man is not going back to his family, so there are no winners today, only justice,” prosecutor Michael Bushwack said of Takkouche, while reacting to Thursday’s verdict.
Takkouche had been studying nursing at Kingsborough Community College and was on the honor roll, an attorney for his family said.
Jurors found Hassan guilty of all counts against him, which included aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter charges.
Prosecutors had told jurors that tests had shown Hassan’s blood-alcohol content had been 0.16 percent, or twice the legal threshold for intoxication.
Authorities also said Takkouche spent the last moments of his life bracing for a deadly impact — suffering injuries that included multiple arm fractures — as if he’d had his arms up in front of himself.
“They are very satisfied that he’s held accountable by this verdict, but of course no verdict can bring back their son, their brother,” said Gregory Grizopoulos, an attorney for Takkouche’s relatives, who he said are planning a lawsuit.
Before the verdict, defense attorney Christopher Devane told Nassau County Judge Philip Grella that his client, who was in a cell elsewhere in the courthouse, didn’t respond when he told him the jurors had made their minds up.
Officials have said Hassan, an inmate at Nassau’s jail, has publicly declared that he doesn’t recognize the court’s authority.
“This is one-way justice,” Hassan’s father said after the verdict, while adding that he was sorry for the victim’s death.
Devane said he would file an appeal and declined to further comment.
The judge set Hassan’s sentencing for Aug. 4.