Updated 10/09/2012 09:07 AM
Queens Driver In Deadly Crash Recovers As Families Mourn
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Four teenagers from Queens are dead after an early-morning car crash Monday on Long Island.
State police say 17-year-old Joseph Beer, who they say only had a learner's permit, lost control on the westbound Southern State Parkway just before 4 a.m.
Investigators say the car crossed two lanes of traffic, hit the shoulder and slammed into some trees.
Police say passengers, Neal Rajapa, 17, Christopher Kahn, 18, Peter Kanhai, 18 and Darian Ramnarine, 18, were thrown from the car.
They were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say the impact was so great, the car was sheared in half.
Residents living near the scene of the accident said they heard what they thought was an explosion.
"I went over there and I saw four bodies on the floor, laying on the floor, and we saw the road," said one witness. "I went by the road on the highway and it was slippery, just, like, wet, like it was just raining out. So they must've came over the hill, there's a hill right there, and crashed."
The teens were all classmates at Richmond Hill High School.
Those who knew the victims say they were part of a tight-knit group.
"One-hundred twenty fourth street there's a group of kids that actually grew up together, so late summer evenings they would sitting and playing games," said one Richmond Hill resident.
"I'm a mom so my heart goes out to these people so I can't imagine how they feel. I went home a said to my son this could have been anyone of you," said another Richmond Hill resident.
Beer survived the crash and is being treated at a Long Island hospital.