A man driving along a narrow highway in Quogue crashed head-on into an oncoming Uber, killing three young Manhasset residents riding in the hired vehicle, local police said.
Approaching midnight on a winding strip of the Montauk Highway last Saturday, a driver veered out of the two-lane road and collided with a Toyota Prius carrying the Manhasset passengers, according to Quogue police. The drivers of both cars were also killed, raising the death toll to five.
Among the fatalities were Ryan Kiess, 25, and brothers Michael Farrell, 20, and James Farrell, 25 — all of whom lived in Manhasset and graduated from Manhasset High School.
The crash also killed Uber driver Farhan Zahid, 32, of Bay Shore; and Justin Mendez, 22, of Brookhaven, who slammed into Zahid’s car, police said.
Mendez, the sole occupant and driver of a red Nissan Maxima, crossed into oncoming traffic and struck Zahid’s Prius that was carrying the Farrells, Kiess and 24-year-old Brianna Maglio of Garden City, according to police. Maglio remains in critical condition at South Side University hospital.
Quogue police said Mendez’s excessive speed may have played a role in the crash.
At a news conference midday on Tuesday, Quogue Police Chief Christopher Isola said a radar reading from officer who saw Mendez heading west before the crash recorded his car traveling at 55 mph. The speed limit at the site of the crash is 40 mph.
Isola also said some marijuana was found in the passenger compartment of Mendez’s vehicle, but he did not say how much or whether the drug played any role in the crash.
“Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones and to the dozens of first responders who responded to this tragic incident,” Isola said.
The crash is still under investigation by the Quogue Police, New York State Police, the National Transportation Safety Board and the state Attorney General’s Office. No criminal charges have been announced.
Uber confirmed Zahid was driving on-app for the ride-hailing company at the time of the crash and had been with Uber for nearly two years.
“Our thoughts are with the families of Mr. Zahid and the four others who lost their lives in this heartbreaking crash,” an Uber spokesperson said. “We hope the survivor makes a full recovery.”
James Farrell was captain of the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s lacrosse team for the 2018 season.
“Our hearts are broken following the news out of Long Island this weekend,” read a tweet from the university’s men’s lacrosse team. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Farrell family.”
Ryan Kiess was a member of the Church of Our Saviour, Lutheran, in Manhasset. Rev. Marc Herbst told Blank Slate Media the young man had a great reputation for being caring and energetic.
“We cherish the memory of these three gentlemen and look for all the good that they’ve done and let that continue to inspire us in our lives,” Herbst said.
“It’s a time when people will question their faith,” Herbst added. “The most consoling thing that we can say is that God is present through all the love that’s surrounding the community now as we hold each other up.”
Michael and James Farrell were members of the Archangel Michael Church in Port Washington, where their funeral will be held this week.
A wake for the Farrells will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 29. The funeral will be the following day at 11 a.m. Both are open to the public and will be held at the Archangel Michael Church.
Correction: Due to incorrect information from police, an earlier version of this article misstated Brianna Maglio’s age. She is 24, not 22.