Drunk driver kills Guyanese woman in Queens NY crash

– daughter, 9, critical

A Guyanese woman was killed and her nine-year-old daughter injured in Queens, New York on Sunday when a drunken driver in a BMW plowed through a stop sign at more than 50 mph, hitting their car in the process.

According to the New York Post, 41-year-old Zaalika Rasool, a mother of three, was pronounced dead at the scene while her daughter, Sara Rasool was rushed to Long Island Jewish Hospital where she is currently listed in critical condition.

The mangled remains of the Rasool’s car follwing Sunday’s accident in South Ozone Park, Queens, New York. [New York Post photo)
The mangled remains of the Rasool’s car follwing Sunday’s accident in South Ozone Park, Queens, New York. (New York Post photo)

The woman’s husband, Azaan Rasool, was said to have been behind the wheel of a red Toyota Camry on 115th Avenue β€” waiting at the stop sign to make a left turn onto 130th Street β€” when the driver of the BMW X5 SUV came racing up from behind, flying past two vehicles before smashing into the rear of the family’s car.  Both the woman and her daughter were ejected, the report said.

The incident was said to have unfolded in South Ozone Park just after 5 pm on Sunday as the family was heading home from a mosque.

β€œI’m still in shock. I saw her on the ground right there in front of me,” Azaan Rasool said of his dead wife. β€œI saw my wife first, and I knew she was dead, and then I looked for my daughter who was 6 or 7 feet away from the car. I started screaming, β€˜Help! Call 911!’

β€œI thought it was a dream while it was happening. I tried to speed up to avoid him, but he was going too fast.”

A distraught Rasool added, β€œMy wife and daughter came out of the rear window.”

Rasool further explained to the Post that he doesn’t yet have the heart to tell his daughter about everything that happened.

He said that when she regained consciousness, β€œShe asked me what happened. I didn’t answer her. She needs to recover first.”  The child sustained head, neck and foot injuries.

Zaalika Rasool and her husband, Azaan Rasool in happier times. [New York Post photo)
Zaalika Rasool and her husband, Azaan Rasool in happier times. (New York Post photo)

Family members and friends described Zaalika Rasool as an avid gardener who loved to cook. The tight-knit Guyanese family was set to take a cruise to the Dominican Republic next week, relatives told the Post.

Zaalika’s son, Shaan Rasool, told the New York Post that his mother worked in administration for the Department of Transportation for 15 years before going on to describe her as the type of woman who β€œwas always there for you.”

Family members said they were faced with tragedy 15 years ago when Azaan’s brother lost his wife on 9/11.

β€œThis is the second tragedy. Everything came back to us right away,” said Azaan’s mother Farida Rasool, 71.

Meanwhile, police were hunting for the driver, who they said stopped long enough for witnesses to see that he was drunk before he took off.

β€œIt didn’t even sound like a crash, it sounded like a bomb going off,” said one eyewitness.

β€œI saw someone pinned under the car,” he added. β€œHer body was lifeless under the car, just her head sticking out.”

The man further stated that the visibly drunk driver was apparently accompanied by a boozed-up buddy.

β€œJust the way he was talking, the way he was moving, [I could tell] they were drunk,” he said. β€œ[The driver] was slurring his words,” the witness told the Post.

Chief posted:

On September 11th 2001 they lost  their  daughter in law  in the WTC tragedy.

Last evening they lost their second daughter in law  i another tragedy, a sppeding driver hit her husband car at the corner of 130th st & 115th Ave. The 41 year old sister died on the spot and her 9 year olsd is in critical condition.

Janaza tomorrow morning at 9am 

Janaza is 12.30 pm today.

Chief posted:
yuji22 posted:

My sincerest condolences to the Rasool Family.

Chief is this family from Down the Coast ? If so, I know them.

Yugi

I think you know the family. Uncle Golan from No 69 Village, he had a stall at No 78 Market.

Chief,

I am in deep shock at this news. Just confirmed with US relatives that Azam's wife passed away. Sadly Sadique, lost his wife and now this tragedy.

My in-laws and Golan and were best friends from No. 69 Village. They lived a few houses away from Golan's family.

This is one of the most outstanding muslim families that I have met in my life. My wife was in tears as I broke the news since they were very close to the Golan family.

May Allah provide the family with strength during these sad times.

Yuji22

Last edited by Former Member
yuji22 posted:
Chief posted:
yuji22 posted:

My sincerest condolences to the Rasool Family.

Chief is this family from Down the Coast ? If so, I know them.

Yugi

I think you know the family. Uncle Golan from No 69 Village, he had a stall at No 78 Market.

Chief,

I am in deep shock at this news. Just confirmed with US relatives that Azam's wife passed away. Sadly Sadique, lost his wife and now this tragedy.

My in-laws and Golan and were best friends from No. 69 Village. They lived a few houses away from Golan's family.

This is one of the most outstanding muslim families that I have met in my life. My wife was in tears as I broke the news since they were very close to the Golan family.

May Allah provide the family with strength during these sad times.

Yuji22

Yep Yugi I realize that you will know the family

 

Nice people indeed.

DWI victim’s grieving husband: β€˜I loved her to death’

 

A husband poured his heart out Tuesday at the funeral of his wife who was killed when a suspected drunken driver smashed into the family’s car in Queens, saying that he hopes Allah β€œforgives” the hit-and-run motorist.

β€œEverything that he did, I hope Allah forgives him and guides him so whatever I went through another family doesn’t go through,” said Azaam Rasool of the still-at-large driver while speaking at the Bergen Funeral Home in Ozone Park before a throng of more than 1,000 tearful mourners – some of whom couldn’t even fit into the funeral home.

Rasool, his wife Zaalika Rasool, 40, and their 9-year-old daughter Sara, who are all Muslim, were heading home from a mosque Sunday night when a driver in a speeding BMW blew through a stop sign before slamming into the rear of their car in Ozone Park, authorities and witnesses said.

The impact of the high speed crash sent Zaalika and Sara flying through the car’s rear window, injuring Sara and killing Zaalika almost instantly.

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Sarah Zaalika, 9, survived and is in Jamaica Hospital.Photo: Ellis Kaplan

β€œShe was a beautiful person from the outside, but I never knew she was so beautiful in the inside and those are the memories that you hold,” Rasool said. β€œThose are the things that give me strength.”

The devastated husband added, β€œThere was not a bad bone in her body. She loved everyone equally.”

β€œI loved her to death. She loved me to death. She loves her children to death,” he said. β€œI wish my wife was still here. We were truly happy. I live a life of love for 22 years. Not one day did I regret it.”

As Zaalika lay in an open coffin covered in a white cloth with a green drape with Arabic writing on it, her oldest son, 20-year-old Shaan, broke down when he spoke about his mother, an avid gardener, mom of three and administrative worker for the Department of Transportation.

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Photo: Ellis Kaplan

β€œI never thought this day was going to come. It still doesn’t feel real. The house is never going to be the same,” Shaan told mourners. β€œWords cannot explain how I am feeling right now. I’m going to miss you, mom. I love you with all my heart.”

Nearly a dozen heartbroken members of the tight-knit Guyanese family got up to speak after Shaan.

β€œNo other love is like my mom’s love. No one can replace her. She’ll never be forgotten,” said another son Zahir, 17.

Azaam Rasool told grievers that his daughter – who is still hospitalized from the wreck – keeps asking for her mother who she doesn’t know is dead yet.

β€œβ€˜Where is my mommy, daddy. I want my mommy,’” said little Sara Monday to her father at the hospital, according to Azaam. β€œShe knows. She’s a smart girl. She knows something is wrong.”

Suspect in fatal hit-and-run was driving with suspended license

 

The Queens man wanted for a hit-and-run that killed a mother and severely injured her young daughter was nabbed by cops Tuesday morning around 8:30 a.m., sitting on his porch, drinking a beer, and carrying $3,000 in cash, prosecutors said.

Jairam Budhu was arraigned in Queens court Wednesday on a slew of charges β€” including second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident β€” for the fatal Sunday crash that took the life of Zaaika Rasool and left her 9-year-old daughter hospitalized in critical condition.

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Photo: Wayne Carrington

Budhu, 58, was held without bail.

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β€œI’m very relieved because he is not out there harming another family, another couple,” said widower Asaam Rasool, who was driving his family home from the Mosque when Budhu allegedly ran a stop sign at 50 mph and slammed into their car.

Zaalika, 40, and daughter Sara were ejected from the car.

β€œLet the court deal with him,” Rasool fumed, β€œSo no one has to go through what I am going through.”

Budhu pleaded not guilty, and says he wasn’t driving the BMW that hit the Rasools β€” despite witness statements describing the allegedly inebriated man climbing over seats, exiting the car, and walking away from the scene.

Budhu was not charged with a DUI or DWI because cops were unable to administer a Breathalyzer or blood test since he allegedly fled the scene.

Surveillance video shows the driver β€œexiting the driver’s door,” and stumbling away, prosecutors said.

Budhu’s driver’s license was suspended for failure to pay a moving violation in May, according to authorities.

β€œIt’s unfortunate what happened,” defense attorney Stephen Murphy told the Judge. β€œThe defendant has said he is innocent.”

Rasool has previously told The Post his daughter doesn’t yet know her mother is dead.

β€œShe needs to recover first,” Rasool said, adding that Sara suffered head, neck and foot injuries.

Budhu was remanded, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

He’s scheduled to return to court Aug. 3.

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