What was supposed to be an easy night back from a family visit turned into a tragedy after a woman, her three children and their grandmother were killed when their car derailed, and struck a tree late Saturday night.
Myriam Lebrun, 37, was travelling westbound on the Southern State Parkway, just before 11 p.m. on Saturday when her 1998 Honda Accord smashed into a tree near exit 38 in Babylon, state police said. Lebrun, her three children, 14-year-old Marcus Jeanty, 9-year-old Marcel Jeanty , 8-year-old Kayla Jeanty and their grandmother, 68-year-old Yolande Moise were all killed in the crash. The family was heading back home to Brooklyn after visiting family in Suffolk County.
“It looks like a combination of speed and we’re investigating the possibility of alcohol,” lead state police investigator Charles Knapp said. Witnesses described “heavy fire” and “flames shooting in the air.”
“Flames reached 10 to 15 feet in the air,” North Babylon First Assistant Fire Chief Robert Cabano, said. “There was a heavy fire condition to the front of the vehicle and (to) the passenger’s side. One passenger had been ejected from the car and the four others were trapped inside. It took firefighters 15 minutes to put out the fire.
“It’s absolutely tragic,” Cabano said. “It’ just tragic. It’s horrible.”
Lebrun emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti around 1992 with her three sisters.
“She was a great person and very responsible mother,” Gregory Fequiere posted on the GoFund Me campaign page that’s since been created to raise money for the funeral. “I know all of her children and mother. From the bottom of my heart, all of you will forever be remembered.”
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.