A 19-year-old Queens man was sentenced Tuesday to 5-to-15 years in prison for speeding while high on marijuana and crashing his car in Malverne, killing his four teenaged passengers two years ago.

Joseph Beer, of South Richmond Hill, had been convicted in June at Nassau County court of second-degree manslaughter, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on another charge, vehicular homicide. Beer later pleaded guilty to that charge and driving while high on drugs.

Prosecutors said the teen was driving his turbocharged Subaru Impreza WRX STI more than 110 mph westbound on the Southern State Parkway when he skidded across all three lanes of traffic, drove off the road and hit a tree near exit 17N on Oct. 8, 2012.

His four passengers, 17-year-old Neal Rajapa, and Darian Ramnarine, Peter Kanhai and Christopher Kahn, all 18, were killed after being thrown from the car in the crash.

Beer, who only possessed a learner’s permit at the time, suffered minor injuries. He admitted to having smoke marijuana immediately before the crash.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.