This story has been updated.
Police have released the identities of five people killed during a horrific two-vehicle crash in Westchester County.
The crash, which took place around 9:23 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 22, occurred after Yonkers Police attempted to stop a white 2009 Infiniti sedan being operated in an erratic manner with equipment violations in the area of South Broadway and Prospect Street, said Yonkers Dt. Lt. Dean Politopoulos.
Officers attempted to stop the sedan for vehicle and traffic law violations in front of 47-85 Riverdale Avenue. The sedan appeared to pull over in front of the location, then immediately accelerated at a high rate of speed southbound on Riverdale Avenue, Politopoulos said.
The Infiniti continued to accelerate beyond reckless speeds as it approached the intersection at Culver Street.
A silver 2006 Nissan sedan, occupied by four young men, all 18 years of age and Yonkers residents, was making a right turn south onto Riverdale Avenue from eastbound Culver Street.
As the Nissan entered the intersection, the Infiniti collided with the Nissan, resulting in catastrophic damage to both vehicles; the force of the impact split the Nissan in half, Politopoulos said.
All four occupants of the Nissan were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
The driver and single occupant of the Infiniti, a 36-year-old resident of Mount Vernon, was extricated from his vehicle and transported to a local area trauma center where he died from his injuries.
According to Politopoulos, the police were not in pursuit of the vehicle at the time of the crash, but instead were following the vehicle about 15 seconds behind the vehicle on Riverdale Avenue.
The occupants of the Nissan are identified as Brandon Sierra, Randy Brisbane, Tamari Watkins, and Anthony Cruz.
The driver of the Infiniti is identified as Devon Haywood.
“Our officers are trained to assess every situation and in this case disengaged and did not pursue to avoid this exact type of outcome,” Politopoulos said. “The sector car was approximately 15-seconds behind and not in emergency mode. The driver of the Infiniti Devon Haywood has a history of reckless driving. Our sincere condolences to the families – I cannot fathom their loss.”
Police were immediately on-scene and cordoned off the area. Both criminal and internal investigations were initiated.
Detectives have recorded statements from several witnesses, and video along the Riverdale Avenue corridor has been recovered.
The investigation is on-going as detectives continue to develop information and recover evidence.
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