An early morning accident on Saturday, January 5 killed three at the intersection of Avenue U and East Fifth Street in Gravesend.
According to police, a 2003 Acura was speeding eastbound on Avenue U with four occupants inside. The car blew a red light and struck a red 2009 Toyota Camry that was traveling northbound on East Fifth Street with two people inside. The impact caused the Acura to strike a parked 2011 Honda Odyssey and a 2007 Lincoln Town Car, forcing that vehicle to hit a parked 2011 Mazda CX9.
The Toyota slid east on Avenue U and struck an MTA bus which was stopped at the time, as well as a parked 2011 Mercedes, which smashed into a parked 2012 Honda Pilot.
Three people were killed at the scene: Andre Capers-Jones, 26, the driver of the Toyota; Leonora Lavaud, 24, his passenger, and Jonathan Ishan-Sade, 21, the operator of the Acura.
The other victims were transported to Lutheran Medical Center in stable condition.
Farah Skaf, 23, was a friend of Capers-Jones, or Dre as he was known to many. They met in 2005 through mutual friends. She said the victim was a member of the ZBT fraternity and had a wide circle of friends.
He was fun. He was always peaceful and understanding. He never started problems but always tried to help. You don’t meet a lot of people like him, Skaf recalled. He was loved by a lot of people. He had a few good friends, but everyone knew him. He was that friendly.
She said she was devastated when she heard the news.
I’ve been crying. To think it just happened; its scary, she said. You just wish you could know and have told him not to go out that night.
Friends of the victims held a tearful memorial service at the scene of the crash late Saturday evening, almost 24 hours after the fatal accident took place. Mourners lit candles and left mementos in memoriam of their deceased friends.