Brooklyn man, woman indicted in crash that killed young couple

Posted: Updated:
MINEOLA -

A Brooklyn man and woman pleaded not guilty to new charges after a Nassau grand jury handed down a 19-count indictment stemming from a fatal crash that killed a newly engaged couple.

District Attorney Madeline Singas says defendants Rahmel Watkins, 35, and Zakatyah Steward, 25, were allegedly driving at nearly double the speed limit on April 4 on the Nassau Expressway in Lawrence.

Nine people were involved in the five-car crash, including 22-year-old Yisroel Levin and his 20-year-old fiancé Elisheva Kaplan, who were set to get married this month. They were killed when their car burst into flames.

MORE: Charges upgraded against driver in fatal Lawrence crash 

Singas says the defendants were allegedly part of a group of cars traveling in the northbound lanes of the Nassau Expressway in Inwood from Far Rockaway to a Queens casino.

At the time, Watkins was driving a BMW. The DA scolded the automaker Wednesday, claiming the company was not cooperating with the investigation.

"We are asking BMW for help in giving us information about the speed and other relevant factors,” she said.

Representatives from BMW have not responded to News 12’s request to comment on the matter.

Watkins and Steward are facing a slew of charges, including manslaughter in the second degree.

Steward is also facing charges for allegedly being drunk and high on drugs while driving.

The attorney for Watkins told News 12 that this was simply an "unfortunate accident." News 12 was unable to reach Steward’s attorney for comment.

The judge set Steward's bond at $500,000. Watkins’ bond was set at $1 million.

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