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Car in Hutch Crash Driven by 16 Year Old without License


Scene of Crash – photo: Kristen Bayrakdarian, NY Times

Five people, ages 8 to 17, who died in early Sunday’s Hutchinson River Parkway crash were in an SUV driven by a 16-year-old Malik Smith who did not have a driver’s license or permit, officials said Monday.

The five kids who were killed in the crash near the northbound Mamaroneck Road exit on the Hutch were driving home to Derby, Connecticut, around 12:20 a.m. on Sunday when the vehicle left the road, struck a boulder and a tree and caught on fire.

Westchester County officials said Smith; 17-year-old Anthony Billips Jr.; Zahnyiah Cross, a 12-year-old girl; Shawnell Cross, an 11-year-old girl; and Andrew Billips, an 8-year-old boy; were all killed in the crash. They said there were at least two sets of siblings in the vehicle.

Officials said they do not believe speed was a factor in the crash. The 2021 Nissan Rogue SUV, traveling north, left the parkway north of the Mamaroneck Road exit in Scarsdale, struck a boulder and then a tree, County Executive George Latimer said. At some point, the vehicle caught fire.

The one survivor, 9-year-old Abraham Billips, was taken to Westchester Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. He had apparently been riding in a rear hatchback/cargo area and escaped through the back of the vehicle, officials said.

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