WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The driver of the BMW that went airborne on the Taconic State Parkway last August and killed four people, including his 2-year-old daughter, was steering his car with his knees at the time of the accident, according to the Westchester District Attorney’s office.
Prosecutors say Nerim Sinanovic, 34, of the Bronx, was driving his SUV northbound on the parkway just north of Baldwin Road in Yorktown around 2:50 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, when he “took his hands off the steering wheel, turned towards the back seat and steered with his knees,” causing the car to veer right. His wife, sitting in the passenger seat, allegedly then grabbed the wheel, causing the car the veer left and continue up and over the median, according to the district attorney’s office.
The BMW went airborne and struck two southbound vehicles—a 2001 Toyota and a 2015 Ford, according to police. Another vehicle involved in the accident, 2003 Acura, sideswiped the Toyota and came to rest after striking the center rail.
All three family members traveling in the Toyota died as a result of the injuries suffered in the crash; Ledell Mulvaney, 61, and Katherine Mulvaney, 31, within hours, and Donald Mulvaney, 63, a month later at Westchester Medical Center.
Sinanovic’s daughters, 2 and 1, were both in child seats but were ejected from the vehicle. The 2-year-old, Leona, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The occupants of the Ford and Acura sustained non-life threatening injuries.
Rich Cariello, captain of the Yorktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps, said judging from the damage, it appeared the BMW landed directly on top of the Toyota and the Ford.
“It was a horrific scene,” Cariello told Yorktown News at the time.
According to the district attorney’s office, a toxicology report indicated that Sinanovic had a “high level” of Xanax in his system at the time of the crash.
Sinanovic was arraigned Friday on an indictment charging him with: four counts of criminally negligent homicide, E felonies; one count of reckless driving, a Misdemeanor; and speeding, a traffic violation.
He faces a maximum of two to four years in state prison, according to the district attorney’s office.