5 Connecticut children, ages 8-17, dead after New York crash
Five children from Connecticut, ranging in age from 8 to 17, were killed in a fiery early-morning crash Sunday on a New York highway, police said.
The deceased were identified Monday morning as Malik Smith, 16; Anthony Billips Jr., 17; Zahnyiah Cross, 12; Shawnell Cross, 11; Andrew Billips, 8, according to the Westchester County government.
The children were from Derby, a school official said.
Police believe the vehicle was being driven by Smith when it veered off the Hutchinson River Parkway in Scarsdale, hit a tree and caught fire at around 12:20 a.m. A 9-year-old boy, the sixth person in the Nissan Rogue, was the only survivor, according to a statement provided by Kieran O’Leary, spokesperson for the Westchester County Police Department.
The 9-year-old was “apparently riding in the rear hatchback/cargo area and escaped out the rear,” according to the statement. The boy was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.
Matt Conway, the superintendent of schools in Derby, said he learned the children were part of a family that recently moved to the New Haven County community from New York but had not enrolled in the district. Conway said he reached out to the father on Sunday and offered to provide him information about available supports in the community for him and his family. He planned to talk with the father again on Monday.
“It’s the unimaginable. Having to now make arrangements for five of your children to be buried is a very difficult thing for anyone — one child, never mind five that you’re going to have to now make arrangements for,” Conway said.
Police said the single-vehicle crash remains under investigation.
Connecticut Public contributed to this report. This story has been updated.