A Brooklyn man was killed after he crashed while drag racing near JFK Airport early in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 15, according to authorities.
Shaquan Nelson, 27, of Fenimore Street, was traveling eastbound on Linden Boulevard at a high rate of speed when he struck a pole near 79th Street and flipped, police said. Nelson was ejected from his black 2021 Infiniti sedan, which then burst into flames, sources said.
Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park responded to a 911 call regarding the crash and discovered Nelson unconscious and unresponsive with body trauma, police said. EMS responded to the scene and rushed Nelson to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The NYPD’s Highway Collision Investigation Squad is investigating the incident.
“While DOT is continuing to work with NYPD on the investigation, Sunday morning’s horrible crash near Conduit Boulevard illustrates the need for an expansion of the city’s authority to operate its lifesaving school-zone speed cameras,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman said on Monday, Aug. 16. “The high-speed fatal crash, which took the life of 27-year-old Shaquan Nelson, happened at 4 a.m. in a Lindenwood school zone with camera enforcement, but outside the hours when cameras are legally allowed to operate. Speed cameras have proven an efficient and equitable way to reduce speeding, and their operation around-the-clock will surely reduce the tragic consequences of late-night reckless driving.”
Drag racing has become so pervasive across the borough since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that northeast Queens Assemblywoman Nily Rozic introduced legislation last October that would crackdown on illegal street racing by making it easier to hold reckless drivers accountable.
The legislation, the Fighting Underground Racing in Our Streets (FURIOUS) Act, was drafted in response to a flood of complaints about dangerous drag racing in all five boroughs.
The legislation would authorize the city to operate existing speed cameras in areas generating specific complaints about drag racing or other reckless driving from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., pending approval from a local community board.
“The status quo is simply unacceptable,” Rozic said when her legislation was proposed. “We need to hold reckless drivers accountable and make it clear that this dangerous behavior will not be tolerated on our streets, particularly during a raging pandemic.”