Two passengers in a BMW were killed when a drunk driver caused a four-vehicle crash Sunday morning on the Grand Central Parkway that closed parts of the busy roadway throughout the day, the NYPD said.
Eight others, including the driver, were injured in the 6:30 a.m. crash and were transported to various hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Among the injured were residents of Bellerose, New Hyde Park and Brooklyn, police said.
Both victims killed in the crash, Layon Campbell, 34, and Akeam Grant, 16, lived in Brooklyn, an NYPD spokesman said early Monday.
Campbell was sitting in the front passenger seat and was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. Grant, sitting in the backseat, was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the 2014 BMW, Andrew Shakespeare, 33, of Roselle, New Jersey, was traveling at a “high-rate of speed” on the westbound side of the roadway near 188th Street when he tried to change lanes and sideswiped a 2002 Nissan Sentra and a 2016 Nissan Rogue, the NYPD said.
The BMW and the Rogue went into the eastbound lanes, where a 2012 Mercedes-Benz SUV was struck by the BMW.
The Mercedes-Benz then careened into an embankment off the right shoulder, hit two trees and flipped over, police said.
Shakespeare was transported to Long Island Jewish Hospital for a minor head injury. He refused to take sobriety tests but had “watery, bloodshot eyes,” an NYPD spokesman said. He was later charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, the NYPD said. He was expected to be arraigned Monday and was being held at Queens Central Booking, police said.
Two other male passengers in the BMW, 21 and 16, were also injured. The 21-year-old suffered a laceration to his right arm and the 16-year-old suffered trauma to his torso and right arm, the NYPD said.
The driver of the Mercedes-Benz, a 38-year-old woman, of Brooklyn, complained of right shoulder pain. The driver of the Sentra, a 59-year-old woman, of Bellerose, suffered minor neck and back pain. The driver of the Rogue, a 52-year-old man, of New Hyde Park, complained of neck and back pain. His front seat passenger, a 50 year-old man, of Brooklyn, suffered a right leg injury. The third occupant, a 63-year-old man, of Brooklyn, suffered a fractured rib and also complained of neck and back pain, police said.
The highway fully reopened at about 11 p.m., the spokesman said.