Drag race claims life in Queens

A 22-year-old wannabe race car driver could be on a speed course straight to prison for his alleged role in a drag race turned deadly on North Conduit Avenue last weekend, according to the Queens District Attorney.
Edwin Washington of 119-04 Inwood Street in Jamaica could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of charges that include manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless driving for his alleged role in a car accident that killed 35-year-old John Southern on Saturday, December 30.
Washington and Southern, in a white Mitsubishi Galant and gray Infiniti respectively, were seen speeding west on North Conduit Avenue and weaving in and out of traffic when Southern flipped his car at 78th Street, court documents revealed.
When police arrived at the scene at approximately 5:30 p.m. in response to a 9-1-1 call, they found Southern lying beside his overturned car and Washington, who admitted to being the driver of the Infiniti, standing nearby.
Southern, who lived at 144-44 106th Avenue, died of head injuries at the scene.
According to Deputy Inspector John Doherty, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park where the accident occurred, that precinct has confiscated six or seven cars for drag racing in the past year. Doherty also said that Conduit Avenue is a popular illegal race track within the boundaries of that precinct.
Eighteen-year-old Cory Sapp of 150-21 108th Avenue was in the car with Southern at the time of the accident and was brought to Jamaica Hospital in critical but stable condition. After searching Sapp's backpack at the hospital, police found an unloaded Ruger .38-caliber automatic revolver there.
Although Sapp admitted that the backpack belonged to him, &#8220I don't know how the gun got in there,” he said.
Police subsequently arrested Sapp on charges of criminal possession of a weapon. If found guilty, he could face up to one year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.
Both Washington and Sapp are scheduled to return to court on January 5.

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