Daily Archives: June 24, 2016

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.

 They said Hassan lost control of the Infiniti while trying to exit the Meadowbrook before the car hit a big tree head-on.

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.

Photo: Newsday

Traffic App Waze is Working to Help Avoid Traffic Accidents

Waze is a great app for getting directions and navigating traffic. But there have been complaints of the app navigating drivers to take risky left turns. Waze is rolling out a feature in certain cities that will assist in safer driving that will still get you to your destination on time!

For the read below for the full article:

For many drivers, the relationship with the Waze traffic app is a lot like a romance. At first, it’s all love songs and clear sailing, and amazement at the fast, traffic-free routes that the voice of your choice sends you on.

“I never knew life could be like this,” we thought as we sailed down a service road at 55 mph, laughing at the stalled drivers on the parallel stretch of Long Island Expressway a few hundred feet away. Or, “I never even knew this road existed, Waze, and I’ve lived here all my life. Waze, I love you!”

But soon enough, little cracks appeared in the relationship, just as they do in our romantic bondings. For one thing, Waze does not care how hard we work for our money. It thinks nothing of telling me to take two expensive toll bridges to get from Long Island to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, like the Throgs Neck and then the Triborough, when the 59th Street Bridge could have done the same work for free.

“You don’t care how much I spend, do you?” I mumbled to Waze.

“I was trying to save you time, you cheapskate,” I imagined hearing it shout back.

Many of us would gladly pay the extra tolls if we knew this odd and expensive route was going to save an hour in traffic, but what if it cut our travel time by only 90 seconds? Was Waze just throwing our money away like it grows on trees? Does Waze not know how hard we work for every dollar?

And she (mine is set to voice a British lass, Kate) does this one other thing that can crimp the relationship, too. She tries to kill me. But the company, which is owned by Google, says that’s going to stop. At least in Los Angeles and New Orleans.

One of the ways Waze tries to save drivers’ time is by telling it to take left turns that, if we thought about them beforehand, we’d realize were very risky. But what happens is, you don’t realize until you’re already at the intersection that Waze’s long-term plan for the trip has you taking a left against the most horrendous oncoming traffic in town, a move that should only be tried on a reality TV show called “Not This Time, Loser.”

And then, as people behind you honk, and you scream, “How is there not a left-turn lane and signal here? It’s like a form of human sacrifice,” you can either try to get over and make a whole bunch of rights, or you can just go for it.

It’s a real problem, and not just at particularly busy intersections, or only in Los Angeles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 60 percent of all traffic accidents involve a vehicle turning left. In New York City, Waze is particularly enamored of left turns against oncoming traffic onto Second Avenue in midtown that are only possible at midnight, and only then in an armored personnel carrier.

But now, Waze has introduced a setting that will let Los Angeles drivers prioritize traffic safety over travel time. That setting will keep them away from dangerous left turns, even if it means taking a somewhat longer route to do so.

That’s smart, and given how Waze works, easy. The program figures out which way users ought to go by determining how fast other users are going, and how many of them there are. It stands to reason that if an intersection has thousands of people an hour coming through it going straight, and no left-turn signal, a driver doesn’t want to try to turn in front of that herd.

The company says the feature that allows drivers to avoid dangerous lefts will be rolled out in New Orleans soon. Hopefully, Long Island and New York City won’t be far behind.

We’re busy enough trying to kill each other on the roads here without having computers take sides in the battle.

Photo: Newsday