A teenager set to start her first day as a high school senior Tuesday was killed Sunday when, Suffolk police said, the car she was riding in hit a utility pole, then slammed into an occupied home in West Babylon.
Kenya Jimenez, 17, of Deer Park, died in the crash, which occurred after Aramis Broadus, 19, lost control of a 2010 Nissan Maxima headed north on Little East Neck Road at Gordon Avenue shortly before 9 p.m., police said.
The car careened into a home on Little East Neck Road after striking the utility pole, First Squad Det. Lt. John Rowan said.
Broadus was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. Two other passengers -- Chyna Adams, 18, and Robert Jones, 20, both of Deer Park -- were being treated there for serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Jimenez was pronounced dead at the hospital at about 1:40 a.m. Monday, police said.
Rowan said Broadus, who has not been charged, has been interviewed and is cooperating with police. The vehicle was impounded for a safety check, and police are continuing their investigation.
No one in the Little East Neck Road home was injured, police said, although Babylon Town officials condemned the structure after the crash.
Edwin Canales, 25, who lives in the house, said he arrived home 10 minutes after the crash and was relieved when he saw his family gathered outside.
"My dad was watching TV with my cousin in the living room when he said he felt the whole house shake," he said.
Jimenez and her family moved to Long Island about a year and a half ago from Queens "for a better life," said her aunt Mirna Valverde of Woodhaven.
"My niece was a really good girl," Valverde said during a telephone interview. "She was respectful and she had dreams."
Jimenez's cousin, Elizabeth Espinoza, 23, also of Woodhaven, said Jimenez was excited about starting her senior year at Deer Park High School.
Deer Park Superintendent Eva J. Demyen called Jimenez's death "a loss for our district" and added that grief counseling would be available for students and staff beginning Tuesday.
Espinoza said Jimenez planned to move to California with family after her graduation to pursue college and study to become a physician assistant.
"It's not fair," Espinoza said before choking up.
Jean Jimenez, 16, said his older sister had been his role model. "She had her whole life planned ahead of her," he said. "She wanted to be successful and I counted on her, I looked up to her."
Anyone with information on the crash can call the First Squad at 631-854-8152 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477. All calls will be kept confidential.
With Gary Dymski