Two People Sentenced in Long Island Crash That Killed Newly Engaged Couple


INWOOD, NY – Today, sentences were handed down in connection with a 2018 crash in Inwood that killed a newly engaged couple and seriously injuring five others.

Rahmel Watkins, of Brooklyn, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison after being charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and assault.

Zakiyyah Steward, who was traveling in the same pack of cars as Watkins, was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in prison.

According to authorities, Watkins was heading northbound on Nassau Expressway in Inwood from Far Rockaway to a Queens casino in his 2010 BMW GT. He was reportedly driving at twice the legal speed limit when he crossed the double yellow line and hit a 2017 Nissan Altima head-on, killing the occupants, 21-year-old Yisroel Levin and his 20-year-old fiance Elisheva Kaplan.

Watkins’ vehicle then hit a silver Infiniti driven by James Hamilton, causing him to suffer a fractured spine and injuries to his knee, ankle, and hand.

Steward was also driving over the speed limit next to Watkins in his 2016 Hyundai Genesis and was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash.

Disclaimer: This post should not be construed as legal advice. The injury lawyers of Finz & Finz, P.C., regularly update our readers on the latest news in New York and Long Island to make our community safer. We are committed to helping those who’ve been hurt in accidents in our community know what to do to keep themselves and their families safe, and if you’ve been hurt in an accident, we can help.

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