'Wonderful people': Friends mourn couple killed in crash with stolen car

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WOODBURY -

Friends are mourning a husband and wife who police say were killed when a stolen car crashed into them over the weekend.

Jules Lewis is one of the last people to see Jerome and Randee Weingarten alive. He and his wife went to dinner with them Saturday night.

"We went to a friend's house afterwards, eight or 10 friends, and we all said goodbye," Lewis recalls. "And the next morning, we woke up to the news."

Jerome, 74, and Randee, 71, Weingarten were killed in a car crash just as they arrived home in Middle Island. Police say the Weingartens' SUV was struck on Middle Country Road by a stolen Nissan Rogue driven by 17-year-old Nahriek Belford, of Bellport. Belford's 19-year-old half-brother was also killed. Police were pursuing the car at the time of the crash.

Five minutes before the crash and 5 miles away in Yaphank, police say Belford failed to stop at a stop sign on Yaphank Avenue and Main Street. Police say an officer tried to pull over Belford, but he wouldn't stop.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart says while an internal investigation continues, it does appear the officer was following department policy.

Lewis says he and his wife are struggling to come to terms with what happened.

"They were wonderful people, very warm and loving and energetic and fun," Lewis says.

Belford remained hospitalized in serious condition Monday. He was set to be arraigned on reckless endangerment charges, which were expected to be upgraded at a later time.

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