Source: Flatbush Scoop

A late night accident on Ocean Parkway killed a 23-year-old college student when a speeding BMW slammed head-on into his minivan.

Remains of the minivan. Photo by James Wall. (Click to enlarge)

The accident happened at approximately 11:45 p.m. near Avenue X. The victim, Jamal Iqbal, was rushed to Coney Island Hospital where he died. The BMW driver and his 30-year-old female passenger were transported to hospitals in stable condition. The driver had a broken jaw.

The Daily News reports:

The impact of the crash ripped the minivan apart, sending the engine and transmission flying across the road.

The BMW spun several times and came to rest facing the wrong way in the northbound lanes — about 150 feet from the van.

A witness said he heard the sound of the crash, which he described as “an explosion,” from his house more than two blocks away.

… A witness sitting on a bench near Ocean Parkway watched in horror as the BMW lost control.

“I said to my wife, ‘This guy is going too fast,’” said Mohammed Sadiq, 63. “He was speeding.”

“The guy in the van probably didn’t even know what happened, it was so fast,” Sadiq added.

UPDATE (11:00 a.m.): Laura over at our sister site Bensonhurst Bean just updated the story with more recent reports, informing readers that the driver has been arrested. Beka Skhirtladze, 26, of Bath Beach, was in the driver’s seat of the BMW, and he is now charged with criminally negligent homicide, vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Skhirtladze was driving 90 miles-per-hour, police say.

Thank you to all the readers who contacted us about this incident, especially James Wall who provided information and photos from the scene.

Correction (5/10/2012): The original version of this post mistakenly identified the victim as a Brooklyn College student. In fact, he was a college student from Brooklyn.

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  • TonyDanza

    Sad. Very sad. The worst part is that this isn’t the first time, and it worn be the last something like this happens. My condolences go out to the family of the victim.

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  • Arlene Herring

    Terrible. What is it about Brooklyn drivers speeding all the time, thinking they can get away with it? Condolences to the poor kid’s family.

    • Arthur Borko

      Speeding is not native to Brooklyn.

      • Brooklyn Walker

        Yes, but we live here. As much as I’m sure drivers speed elsewhere, I’m most concerned with it in Brooklyn since that’s where I’m most likely to be hit by a car.

      • Arlene Herring

        True, speeding isn’t native to Brooklyn, but it seems to happen a lot in this neighborhood — maybe because we’re so close to the Belt, or because there are a lot of stop signs instead of traffic lights, and where there are lights, some drivers try to beat them. Also, a lot of drivers around here seem to forget you can’t just make a turn while someone’s crossing the street…basic stuff like that.

    • Flatbush Depot

      What Arthur said. People do it everywhere, all the time. It is ingrained in people at this point and it would take mass social reform to stamp out.

      I never speed. Neither does my father. I drive 1 to 5mph below the posted limit on limited access highways at all times and on local roads where the limit is 30 I drive about 27-30.

      It is a social problem; people tend to do it because they think it is cool or they are rushing or whatever. I personally do not see the point in it. I get where I want to go within a reasonable period of time driving at or within 5mph of the posted speed limit; how people continue to see the point in speeding and/or encourage it and/or think nothing of it is beyond me.

      I use transit a lot more often than I drive. I do not know if that is a factor though.

  • http://facebook.com/prettyinpurplebk Pretty_in_Purple

    The driver of the BMW was arrested for vehicle manslaughter. People think Ocean Parkway is a race track. When driving down Ocen Parkway towards Coney Island at Avenue W the road curves and not everyone knows that. If you’re going too fast it’s very easy to lose control. There have been hundreds of accidents at that interscetion. Each one gets worse and worse. It’s ashame that a 23 year old man had to die because the driver of the BMW was probably showing off his “awesome car” for his female passanger.

    • BrooklynBus

      Probably exactly what happened. There should be bigger signs announcing the turn, but at 90 mph, you still wouldn’t be able to see it. Slower speed limits are not the answer. Feel so sorry for the victim’s family.

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    What’s it going to take to  crack down seriously on this. It’s horrifying and it makes me sad, but it disgusts me. The community leaders will undoubtedly meet, and their solution will be to move some marker back, change some traffic light,  come up with a safe driving class, do anything but put consequences to people who drive like that. 

       Society has lost its desire to punish horrifying behavior. Get ready for more and more of this as time goes by.

       I’m sure the driver will just proclaim “accident, sorry”, and get a reduced sentence. My prediction? He’ll be driving 2 years after being sentenced, if he’s sentenced at all. Cynical? Come on, man, open your freaking eyes.

    • Bigbadlandlord

      You know whats really disgusting? All the people that were lining Ocean parkway Sturday night after the crash. “Was he Jewish?” “Was he Jewish?” “oh God I hope they weren’t Jewish”, “Good he was Arab”.

      As though the rest of us are subhuman and not worthy of their sympathy. Its really sickening.

      Shomrim, The cops, the residents- our whole fuckin community is a goddamn disgrace.

      • Mieeder

        I Heard the same thing!!!!It is disgraceful!!! Whats with these jews and Arabs?? Why do they hate them so much?? Shame on them!!!!

        • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

          If that happened, I’m ashamed of my own. That’s appalling.

        • BrooklynBus

          It is disgusting and it doesn’t surprise me. But I am not so sure the comment means that they hate Arabs but rather indicates a superiority they feel among themselves and not wanting Jewish people to be looked down upon by others. I tend to think no matter who was involved as long as the person was not Jewish, the comment would have been the same. Good he was an Italian (Black) (Puerto Rican) (Chinese) etc, just as long as he wasn’t Jewish. They feel enough people are anti-Semetic already and the world does not need another reason why. But what ever their reasoning, it still is not right.

          • Accident

                 It’s laudable that you  try to put these comments in the best possible light.

                 Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve heard such appalling comments, I’ve been in groups and heard them, and I can assure you are probably wrong.

               It’s more like: “Glad  it wasn’t a Jew because those people aren’t as important as us”. That’s exactly what they mean. There’s a small group of my people (as I assume there is of all groups) that think like that.

          • BrooklynBus

            Actually, I sort of said the same thing as you did, that they have a feeling of superiority. I’m not sure about Sephardic, but Ultra-Orthodox definitely feel that way.

  • Guest

    Beka Skhirtladze on russian social site

    • nauticalstar

      Hope it was worth it. Shmuck.

    • Tuth

      Why are you posting photos of someone without knowing all the facts of the case or even being a 100% sure that he is the same person involved in the incident and not simply someone with the same name.  Ass

      • Arthur Borko

        That’s the risk you take when you post your information publically on the internet. Mr. Skhirtladze posted his pictures willingly, it’s not as if his private information was unlawfully taken and posted. 

        Seems like the same BMW in the photo though.

        • Tuth

          It could very easily be defamation of character.  You can’t take a photo of someone post it in a public forum and say that this person has sex with animals.  

          • Arthur Borko

            There is no Libel or Defamation of Character. They simply posted a picture with the name of the person, which one can presume they got by simply searching the internet for his name. 

            They didn’t say “This is the Beka who caused the accident.” They simply said “Beka Skhirtladze on russian social site”. If it’s the same person or not doesn’t matter. No libel has been committed. 

            And again, the photo was ALREADY public. You can take a public photo, and repost it somewhere else with the same information all you want. That’s kind of how the internet works. 

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            The allusion is that this is the individual that was involved in the accident. It very well might be. The possibility of two individuals with the name owning  vehicle that looks like the one in the accident is small. But Tuth is right. It is assumption until it can be verified that this the same individual. And posting this photo in the context of this article is making a statement that this is the individual involved.

          • Arthur Borko

            As long as the poster doesn’t themselves state it as fact an observer can make whatever presumption they like, it’s still not Libel to post a picture.

          • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

            I personally am happy to hhear that…

  • Tinman

    Let’s hope there’s no plea bargain for this guy. He doesn’t deserve an ounce of sympathy, but rather the maximum punishment the law alllows for driving on OP like it was the Indianapolis Speedway.

    • levp

      Remember, back in 2001, almost the same place:

      http://articles.nydailynews.com/2002-02-07/local/18185515_1_kamins-ocean-parkway-killed
      “Chehebar, whose father owns the Brooklyn-based clothing chain Rainbow Shops, was driving a borrowed silver Porsche Carrera on Ocean Parkway near Avenue X when he lost control, jumped a tree-lined pedestrian median and plowed into a family strolling along the thoroughfare on their way home. Inna was killed instantly. Svetlana died at Coney Island Hospital. Their mother, Rima, was critically injured.”

      Inna was 15 and Svetlana was 10.  Sentence for their killer?  Six months.

      “Chehebar “is terribly remorseful,” said his attorney, Steven Flamhaft of Flamhaft, Levy and Kamins.”
      Bottom line: a life is only worth 3 months if you can afford “Flamhaft, Levy and Kamins”.

      One thing you all can do is to avoid spending even a penny in Rainbow Shops and, perhaps, hope for some karma…

      • frankiev

        Thanks for the update. I always wondered what happened with that case. It turned out just as I suspected it would. That’s a crime in itself.

      • EndofDaze

        I recall that horrifying tragedy quite well. I had a feeling that since the perpetrator was from the overall influential wealthy Arab Syrian Jewish Community, that it would eventually be hushed up, and the media would not continue to report it. I also wondered if the community, gave the remaining family members, money, in an attempt to quell their understandable outrage. As a landsman, what further angers me, is that the Community, claims to be Orthodox! If some of my suspicions are true, what Hypocrisy! It mocks our noble creed and beliefs, in love being the foundation of justice!

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        I’m sure Daddy suggested a trip to Europe when his sentence was completed “To forget”.

        This has happened so often that the instances have become a blur.

  • Bogie Email

    Terrible. Ocean Pkwy is ridiculous with accidents. Everyone speeds and there are weekly accidents. I refuse to walk my dog by the benches because you just never know.

  • Gene2T

    not to offend anyone but out of all drivers on the road.. I think that bmw owners/drivers are the most arrogant and selfish assholes. 

    Do you really think that if you drive a 70k car you are allowed to cut people off.. speed.. and just disregard law and traffic law all together ? I hate this shit.

    in this situation we will never know what happened..   but most likely that beemer was speeding  

    • Bigbadlandlord

      We know exactly what happened, pal. Forensics. Ever hear of that science?

      • Gene2T

        ok… what if.. minivan changed lanes unexpectedly ? 

    • Tinman

      Most likely? Hardly! According to NYPD, driver was going about 90 mph in a 30 mph zone

      • Gene2T

        I’v seen nypd make mistakes in the past

    • Local Broker

      Off the subject of this terrible accident. “I think that bmw owners/drivers are the most arrogant and selfish assholes.” Thats a dumb fucking statement. So i can say everyone i have ever met or know with the name Gene is a moron but there might be a million Genes out there that are really smart. That guy could have been driving a Vette, Porsche or a Honda and the result would be the same. 

      • Barkingspider07

        I have to disagree with you to a degree, Broker.  It seems like many of these young people who have these expensive, racy foreign cars drive like fools. They are show offs. I can’t tell you how many times I have been passed (on my left, and at excessive speeds), cut off (it was especially fun to be cut off on the Southern State Parkway), bumped, and having high beams shone into my rear view mirror at night, and watched as these drivers change lanes while speeding, and not signalling – and the majority pf these were by drivers of mercedes, BMW, Lexus and other fancy cars.  If I had a $70K car, I would treat it like a baby, not abuse it and use it to be a showoff and/or a menace.  I am not looking for a nasty reply from you, just saying that if you are a driver, you would notice this. 

        • Local Broker

          Most of the people i know drive luxury cars and 99% of them are regular drivers like everyone else. I have been cut off and high beamed by Dodge Neons and Hondas as well as sports cars. It has nothing to do with what kind of car it is, its the person driving the car. My brother, sister and cousins drive euro luxury cars and are all super conservative drivers so making a statement like that is just dumb. Would it be ok if he said all Asian or Hasidic are horrible drivers? Same comments on here All Russians are crooks, all Italians are in the mafia, all blacks are ghetto and anyone who drives a nice car is a douchebag. Its just ignorant.

          • Gene2T

            well… asians and hasidic’s are horrible drivers… its a known fact :)

          • guest

            I have to agree with Local Broker not every luxury car driver is bad. However there is some truth about BMW drivers specifically being bad. BMW has always been known as a “drivers” car. I’m sure some of the car experts here can attest. Even though their ratings are usually lower then Benz or Lexus they sell way more sports sedans. Because they are so popular amongst people who like sports cars. Just watch CNBC’s piece about BMW and you will see this culture of racing that is so prevalent. I’m not saying this guy was one of these BMW enthusiasts, but usually the people who are big BMW enthusiasts are the people who speed on public streets.

            http://www.cnbc.com/id/43395673

          • Local Broker

            I would agree that someone shopping for a luxury car that wants a sportier one goes with BMW and Audi over Benz or Lexus. I had my BMW for years and enjoyed driving it hard and aggressive but careful and aware. At the same time my kids doctor has the same car and drives like hes taking a stroll on the beach. Point is that it doesnt matter what car he was driving hes an idiot for driving that way in that environment whether it was in a 100k BMW or a 25k Honda.

          • Gene2T

            well here is the thing, if you would like to drive “hard and aggressive” maybe .. ocean parkway is not a place to do it. as a matter of fact.. I think you need to get out to a desert somewhere in Nevada to do that. Cant even drive hard and aggressive in Jersey , they do give good speeding tickets.

            And this kind of mentality of “enjoyed driving it hard and aggressive” is what getting people in to accidents, specially young pups who do not know how to drive… and yet they think that.. ohhh yea i got bmw.. this car can drive itself….. NOT

          • Gene2T

            well here is the thing, if you would like to drive “hard and aggressive” maybe .. ocean parkway is not a place to do it. as a matter of fact.. I think you need to get out to a desert somewhere in Nevada to do that. Cant even drive hard and aggressive in Jersey , they do give good speeding tickets.

            And this kind of mentality of “enjoyed driving it hard and aggressive” is what getting people in to accidents, specially young pups who do not know how to drive… and yet they think that.. ohhh yea i got bmw.. this car can drive itself….. NOT

        • EndofDaze

          You make an excellent point here, and are not alone in your sentiments. Once upon a time, it was a given, that a person owning and driving such luxury cars, carried themselves with a high degree of civility, panache, sense of the other, class, and cultivation. Sadly, that given, is not quite often the case anymore!

        • nolastname

          Some of the people that lease cars drive with disregard for the vehicle therefore are more reckless and involved in more accidents.
          Can’t really tell which cars are leased any longer because DMV did away with those plates…

        • nolastname

          Bark, you used the term “young people”, I see it in the 25-35 year old range in my  travels. I also see a bunch of bad drivers in the 35-45 yr. range driving mini-vans ATV’s and full sized luxury cars. 
          When the powers that be passed bad drivers on DMV tests he was not prejudice.  And not to our benefit, so many ended-up driving through Sheepshead Bay. 

      • Guest

        Unfortunately BMW is a very common car in the area and it’s even more common for local drivers to be a complete assholes with complete disregard to traffic laws. 

        I made a mistake of getting BMW in the Sheepsheadbay area and all I can say is that I’ve never gotten so many angry looks at the stop signs. I never behave disrespectfully towards fellow motorists or pedestrians, but in BMW it’s almost expected of me not to yield to pedestrians or to cut off people. When I stop and yield people just stand frozen there. Point being, if I continue to live in Sheepshead I will not be buying “luxury” car anymore. That gets me to my 2nd point.

        If you drive outside of Brooklyn, to Queens, Long Island, etc, whole “BMW drivers are assholes” stigma goes away. Traffic flow in those areas is much more “chill”. So whole “BMW drivers are assholes” statement only applies to Brooklyn. 

        Drivers in Brooklyn are generally driving like we’re on outskirts of Karkand, and no matter how many stop signs and speed bumps you put, accidents like this will keep happening. 

        • nolastname

          Outside of Brooklyn IS a world of difference. Queens and The Bronx are not affected by this attitude.
          I think Gene2T was speaking of local problems “and for that reason”…..I am not out. LOL
          Sorry for the look I gave you ;-) but, if you drive up to the intersection like a bat out of hell without stopping at the 1st crosswalk line you deserved it.
          The look of fear and astonishment together can look like anger.
          Buy American made. See the USA in a Chevrolet….or something like it.
          It goes back to my statement, the attitude with some of Sheepshead Bay’s residence suck.

          • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

            Well buying American is deceptive itself, since so many “American” cars are mostly manufactured overseas, while many of the “foreign” cars are manufactured in the U.S. This can range from parts creation all the way to assembly. Just because the brand may be American, doesn’t mean the product is manufactured in America.

          • Local Broker

            Exactly right. Every BMW SUV is built here then shipped overseas.

          • nolastname

            Right you are. Even Chevy builds some cars in Thailand. ;-(

    • nolastname

      I love driving my bomb exactly for this reason. I usually smile and say “go ahead hit me”, I apply the same mentality when they want to butch their way into my lane without asking, making eye contact or at least signaling. 
      There was this guy drinking a cup of coffee by the dumpster in Rite Aid parking lot. As he walked to the store he also passed a garbage can. He threw the cup on the floor in the middle of the sidewalk. When I saw him go back to his car it was a BMW. The guy was Russian so I don’t know if he understood what I had to say to him.
      Just goes to show you can dress up an arrogant, ignorant slob but you still can’t take them out in public.

      • Gene2T

        The guys was Russian so .. I dont know if he understood what i had to say to him? I would take a wild guess here and say that.. he probably understood, but if he looked like he didnt . .. he was just pretending .

    • nolastname

      I love driving my bomb exactly for this reason. I usually smile and say “go ahead hit me”, I apply the same mentality when they want to butch their way into my lane without asking, making eye contact or at least signaling. 
      There was this guy drinking a cup of coffee by the dumpster in Rite Aid parking lot. As he walked to the store he also passed a garbage can. He threw the cup on the floor in the middle of the sidewalk. When I saw him go back to his car it was a BMW. The guy was Russian so I don’t know if he understood what I had to say to him.
      Just goes to show you can dress up an arrogant, ignorant slob but you still can’t take them out in public.

    • guest

       it is not the bmw owners, it usually is the age factor, the younger you are the more invinsible you feel, it feels like nothing can happen to you until something does, unfortunately someone else had to pay the price in this case, RIP. And a statement like bmw drivers are arrogant assholes is arrogant itself. I know alot of bmw owners, some of them had their bimmers for more than 20 years, some have had a few bmws back to back and have perfect driving records, not even a single speeding ticket.  Shouldn’t judge others for what they drive, shouldn’t judge anybody period.   

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  • http://kibblesbits.wordpress.com/ Ann

    Can stats be had on accidents on OP? Speeding on OP?

  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    What is it about vehicular crimes that are somehow deemed “less” than other crimes. Someone posted up there that for a similar (worse) vehicular crime, the dude got all of 3 months in prison. Expect the same here.

       Murder in with a car as weapon gets you 3 months.  Meanwhile, utter a sexist, racist, or otherwise off-color comment and you get drawn and quartered in every media outlet around, you  get sued, jailed, threatened. Your life is over.   This makes sense to you? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. But not much does anymore. Guess I’ve gotten old.

  • JR

    the real problem is Ocean Parkway itself, it needs to be redesigned mostly for traffic calming to avoid tragedies such as this 

    • Nomore

      Ocean Parkway has lots of traffic. Punishing people because of a few bad seeds won’t solve anything. Out of sync lights, lane reductions and stop signs are not going to deter idiots and something like this from happening. There is a light on every block and this still resulted. A more fair action is to take away this individuals drivers license for life. No more driving in New York or any other state. Throw him in jail and fine him. $150 for the first 10 MPH over the limit and then an additional $500 for each mile over the limit. That’s how you take care of this without punishing everybody who drives.

      • BrooklynBus

        You are correct. Punish him not the innocent drivers. None of this traffic calming stuff. The speed limit is already a low 30 mph when it should be 35. Lowering it to 20 will just cause everyone to speed. They already installed many left turn arrows. There really is not too much more to be done.

        • guest

          They killed 2 girls and their mother almost in the same spot a few years back. Also hit my friends son right there. They killed my other friends Aunt on Avenue U. They should all be shot or deported. They think their money can get them out of anything. No regard for human life……….

      • guest

        Agree, but is not just “A few bad” seeds. There are a lot of them and especially the Syrians. They think their money can get them out of any situation. One kept flashing me because I wasn’t going fast enough on Avenue V. I followed him to his house on E 3rd St, where he proceeded to pull a gun out on me. His mother and family came out of the house yelling to him to stop. A bunch of arrogant jackasses.  The chosen people, not………………………

    • guest

      It is not Ocean Parkway. It is people. Just like they say guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And RICH people think their money can get them out of any situation. A bunch of arrogant pigs. They killed my friends mom on Avenue U a few years ago and ran over my friends son right near Avenue X in almost the same spot. So glad we moved out of Gravesend- the word suits the area. (Although it means “the end of the grove” in Dutch.)

  • Maaz Chattha

    what is wrong with the bmw driver i feel bad for the kid

  • Maaz Chattha

    any ways my mom knows his mom

  • Gene D

    I think the City of New York does stupid things.  They put cops in their chasing vehicles in all the wrong places.  The City of NY should install radar stations along the entire Ocean Pkwy lets say every two miles, like they have in Europe and signs that speed is being measured.  This will reduce the number of these idiots speeding on Ocean Pkwy.  But the City of NY rather do stupid crap like build the islands in the middle of Ocean Pkwy but again in the wrong places, why not on Ave W at the curve but they built it on Neptune Ave,   WWWWWHHHHHYYYYYYYY?  Stupid idiots!

    • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

      What’s wrong with the City of New York’s government…? Oh boy, this could take a while…

    • guest

       the reason they put the island on neptune ave is because of the school, putting an island like that on a curve would be more dangerous than the curve itself. someone tries to make the light and a car in front stops short, they gonna swing around and flip the car over into opposite lanes, especially if they are speeding.

      • Nomore

        Those islands are accidents waiting to happen and should be removed. What a waste of resources and money they all are. Crossing guards during school hours should have sufficed. But this is the emperor we are talking about. Why do something that would create jobs and help someone put food on the table.

        • applegreen

          Have you ever crossed the street by Lincoln High School? These kids dont care that the cars are going. What is a crossing guard going to do if he/she is just ignored?

      • BrooklynBus

        Neptune and Ocean Parkway was also one of the most dangerous pedestrian crossings in the borough, like among the top five. If an island helped, remains to be seen.

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  • David Pych

    I own an m6 myself… This is a race car for some people who don’t know…. The speed of the car reaches 0-62 mph in just 4 seconds…. If anyone wants to race or show off to a girl… Take it to a track… Don’t put someone else’s life in danger like this guy did…. And you won’t have to worry about speeding tickets… Very sad that someone had to pass away dude to his stupidity…. Don’t be the next idiot

    • David pych

      Due to stupidity…. Sorry iPad auto correct

  • RJ

    The Driver of BMW should be charged with Motor Vehicle Homicide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Gloriainny Gloria Leticia Arce

    Unfortunately , Ocean Parkway is a raceway for drivers. I have had two close calls where people are heading right to me as I sit there waiting to make a left turn. Both times I can clear see them driving down, speeding and on their cell phones. This will happen again unless the lazy cops who are also on their cell phones start 1) enforcing the speeding laws on Ocean Parkway. This is the perfect street to put the new speed cameras!!