Teen arrested in connection to deadly Woodbury crash

Police say Areefeen Hirji, of Muttontown, was in another vehicle that left the crash scene.

Police say Areefeen Hirji, of Muttontown, was in another vehicle that left the crash scene. (2/26/17)

WOODBURY - A second arrest has been made in connection with a fatal chain-reaction crash on the Long Island Expressway last week.

Police say 19-year-old Areefeen Hirji, of Muttontown, is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

Investigators say the teen was involved in the crash that happened Thursday night near Exit 44. As News 12 has reported, a passenger in a BMW died after being ejected when the car struck a guardrail. The driver of that BMW, 20-year-old Jonnathan Santos, of Manhasset, was arrested after the crash and charged with driving while ability impaired.

Police say Santos' car also collided with Hirji's car, and that Hirji then left the scene.

Hirji's attorney, Michael Soshnick, says Santos' BMW hit the car his client was driving, and claimed that Hirji is actually a victim because the occupants of the BMW were targeting him.

"The occupants of that vehicle were yelling and screaming and cursing and carrying on in a most inappropriate fashion," he said.

Soshnick acknowledged his client left the scene, but says the teen drove to the nearest exit after the crash and then turned himself in the next day. "My client is only 19 years of age, and I would chalk it up to inexperience and fright," Soshnick says.

The judge said Hirji's failure to stay at the scene hampered investigative efforts, like immediate blood alcohol testing.

The lawyer says it is unclear what set off the alleged confrontation between the two drivers.

Hirji is due back in court March 2.

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