Jamaica man pleads guilty in fatal accident

By Philip Newman

A 28-year-old Jamaica man has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in which his car fatally struck a 48-year-old man who was standing next to his car on a Richmond Hill street.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said a joint investigation by an NYPD Collision Investigation Squad and the Queens DA Homicide Investigations Bureau revealed evidence, including video surveillance, which led to identification of the defendant.

Brown identified the defendant as Aftab Safdar, 28, of 143rd Street in Jamaica. Safdar pleaded guilty before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt Aug. 4 to charges of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting a death, the DA said.

Safdar was immediately taken to Rikers Island where he will await sentencing Aug. 30, when he is to be given six months in jail and five years probation. Resolution of the case was reached after consulting with the victim’s family, members of whom will have the the opportunity to address the court and the defendant.

Brown said that, according to the charges, Safdar was driving a 2008 blue Nissan Sentra about 4:40 a.m. Feb. 28 when he struck the victim, Besik Shengelia, who was standing next to his 2015 Toyota Highlander in the vicinity of 107-42 11th St. Shengelia was taken to a Queens hospital where he died from severe head trauma.

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