From the Queens Times-Ledger, July 27:

Bronx family had just left Nigerian gathering at Richmond Hill hall before crash

Oby Okoro, the woman the NYPD identified as the driver in a gruesome accident Sunday morning in Jamaica that left five passengers dead, told police she lost control of her Mercedes-Benz because the brakes failed, according to a report.

Okoro was driving the 2008 Benz filled with Nigerian family members after leaving a Richmond Hill benefit for the Nigerian town of Arondizuogu, police and family members said.

The black Mercedes Benz SUV was traveling east on Atlantic Avenue around 3:18 a.m. when after crossing over the Van Wyck Expressway, it slammed into one of the concrete columns supporting the AirTrain track overhead. The SUV flipped over and slid to a halt near a Long Island Rail Road employee parking lot and went up in flames, according to the NYPD.

Here’s another one. I suppose we should be grateful there may actually be some justice in this case. From the Queens Chronicle, July 26:

DA: driver was drunk, could face 15 years

The allegedly intoxicated man who officers say tore through Long Island City on July 18, killing a bicyclist before crashing his car into the side of a building, faces 15 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter. Queens Supreme Court on Monday arraigned Alex Batista, 25, on charges of second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of the accident, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Batista, of LIC, was traveling east on Greenpoint Avenue when he allegedly hit bicyclist Roger Hernandez, 37, from behind at the avenue’s intersection with 39th Place.

Hernandez allegedly flew onto the car’s windshield at 10:45 p.m. He was then thrown off the vehicle because of the speed of sedan, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Batista allegedly fled the scene. “This defendant’s decision to get behind the wheel of a car whileallegedly intoxicated is incomprehensible and cost an innocent young man his life. Drinking and driving is never a good idea — and all too often has deadly consequences,” Brown said.

Just plain old driving isn’t such a good idea either, thanks.

See our last post on the global car culture and more reasons WHY WE FIGHT.


  1. Benefit for Arondizuogu Five
    A website has been established for The Arondizuogu Five:

    Tragedy struck the Nigerian-American community on July 22, 2012 when a Mercedes SUV truck with eight family members hit a concrete support, rolled over and burst into flames near the Van Wyck Expressway. Five of the eight passengers of the vehicle died including two children and three women. The lady driver survived and is still in the hospital. Her 7-year-old son and a 26 year old nephew were among the survivors. The deceased are all members of the same family. The cause of the accident is still under investigation but apparently, there is no influence of alcohol or drugs. These are working class people coming home after a community-based national convention and fund raising to support community schools back home in Arondizuogu, Nigeria.

    As you grief with our community, we solicit for your kind donation and support so we can convey the corpses back to Nigeria for their full burial rights…

    Date:  August 31, 2012
    Location: St Anthony’s Church
    Time: High Mass @ 7:00 PM. Wake fundraising  follows immediately downstairs.