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HORRIFIC TRAGEDY: Choson & Kallah R’L Killed By Drunk Drivers Drag Racing in Queens [UPDATED 5:45PM]

YWN regrets to inform you of the tragic Petira of Yisroel Levin Z”L (Flatbush) and Elisheva Kaplan A”H (Far Rockaway) who were both tragically killed when a drunk driver crashed into their vehicle.

Police sources confirm to YWN that two people are in custody following the fiery crash, which happened at around 1:30AM on the Nassau Expressway in Queens.

Five vehicles were involved in the crash, two of which were reportedly drag racing. The drivers of those vehicles, a man and a woman, were arrested and charged with DWI. There were 9 passengers in the vehicles, at least 5 of whom were seriously injured.

The violent crash left the roadway littered with car parts and battered hunks of metal, leaving investigators with a difficult task.

“You have five vehicles, over 800 feet of debris, you have oil, you have gasoline on the roads, thousands and thousands of car parts,” said Nassau County Police Detective Lieutenant Richard LeBrun. “We have one car that the engine actually came out of the vehicle.”

Many organizations including Achiezer, Chesed Shel Emes, Amudim, Misaskim and multiple police chaplains had been searching for them since this morning. Police agencies from Monsey to Nassau County were involved. Unfortunately, they were identified as the victims in the crash.

They got engaged just a week ago, and were supposed to get married in three months.

Yisroel was a son of Rabbi and Mrs. Shaya Levin of Flatbush (Ave R).

Yisroel is survived by his parents, Rabbi Shaya and Mrs. Libbe Levin, siblings: Shmuel Dovid, Eli, Yaakov, Dovi, Yoel, Efraim, Faigy (Jacobson), Raizy (Horowitz) and Itty Levin. Itty is engaged to be married in the near future to Yekusiel Eckstein.

Tragically, Yisroel’s brother Ari Z”L was Niftar just two years ago.

Elisheva was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel Kaplan of Far Rockaway (Beach 6th Street).

Elisheva is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joel Kaplan, and siblings Mosey, Meir, Avrohom Yochanan, Yitzchok, Yaffi Kaplan, Mimi Levison, Rivky Rokowsky, Yona Engelberg, Bryna Kaplan, Chavi Kohanteb and Faigy Kaplan.

The Levaya for both Niftarim will be held on Erev Yom (Thursday) at Yeshiva Darchei Torah Bais Medrash, 257 Beach 17 Street at 11:00AM. The Kevura for Elisheva A”H will be on Erev Yom Tov at Beth David Cemetery (Elmont, NY). The Kevura for Yisroel Z”L will be held in Beit Shemesh, being flown to Eretz Yisroel on Motzei Yom Tov.

Boruch Dayan Ha’Emmes…

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

23 Responses

  1. ת נ צ ב ה
    My heart goes out to the families friends etc. This is very tragic to all of Klall Yisroel.


    May we all have a Chag Kosher vesomayach.

  2. BDE

    so sad and right in the middle of Yom tov.

    May both of these special people have an aliyah and may their families have a nechama.

  3. Horrific. One can’t begin to imagine how the families feel . We must all think about their tradegy, even through this joyous Yom Tov. We should see the end of such tzoros

  4. So heartbreaking!!! So tragic!!! How will these 2 families go on? Hashem, please send Moshiach and the Geulah very soon. Please comfort these families!

  5. It is way past due for laws to be implemented, that murder caused by drunken driving, is treated as full fledged Murder, and that these repugnant savages be punished and incarcerated as full fledged Murderers.

  6. As requested by the family please add the names of Elisheva sister’s , Yaffi Kaplan, Mimi Levison, Rivky Rokowsky, Yona Engelberg, Bryna Kaplan, Chavi Kohanteb, Faigy Kaplan

  7. BD”E I knew Yisroel personally. He was a gem. He was the funniest person I knew and so friendly. He made everyone feel like his closest friend. I have no words to express my feelings. May their neshomos have an Aliyah.

  8. There are 2 laws that I think are, tragically, insufficiently enforced: drunk driving, and drag racing at night on public highways. There should be mandatory jail time for first offenders, and life sentences for accidents that end in death. Unless we get serious about these crimes, there will be more victims.

  9. What a terrible tragedy.
    We don’t have the tzadikim anymore to tell us why such a horrific accident hit koala Yisroel.
    If every yid will just try to undertake a small Tikin in their daily behavior it will be an aliah for those two neshumes who got cut away in such a young age and where their families were preparing for a wedding and now need to see their couple perish .
    Burech Dayen huemes

  10. Words of comfort for yom tov from a psychologist:

    For the niftarim and anyone who knows them:
    They are blessed and fortunate to have completed their mission in this temporary world and are now in a much better and real world then we are all in.

    For the parents and extreme close people to them.
    All of us know from a very young age that if someone could not pass a test (nisayon) then Hashem would not put the person into the situation of the test so we can never question Hashem why did this happen to me or someone I know etc…. and by keeping our butachon and emunah (faith and trust) in Hashem and passing the test a person is raised and brought closer to Hashem and goes to the next level

    May their neshamos have an aliya

  11. Dearest Yisroel,
    My heart has broken into an unimaginable amount of pieces… and the infinite amount of tears I shed are not for no reason. I do not know how or what to say or do…
    My buddy and truest friend, your friendship is one that I shall cherish forever and always. I cant believe, that these words I am typing, are to describe you at this most unfathomable moment. You are the HAPPIEST person I know! Your genuinty, pure goodness and incredible sense of humour always affected those around you!!! And your depth! Especially your depth!! The way you look at everything from a unique perspective!! Always with a positive spirit, with that Trademark smile… You see?!?!?! I can’t stop singing your praises! Yisroel! I may have lost my incredible friend, but worse, the world has lost a perfect neshama, now in a better place! You would be all humble right now, hearing all this praise, but my dear friend, this is not just praise, it’s the raw truth. I haven’t even written up an iota about the role model you were and are, but feel as though I am unable to go on writing much longer, because how is it possible to say one last goodbye to someone you could never let go? I will never forget that first time you walked into Beis Yeshaya’s 4th floor, all full of smiles and good cheer. We introduced ourselves and instantly became friends for life (yes, you would say that its corny), but Yisroel! I stand by what I have always said, we ARE friends for life! Thank you soo much for all the good memories, and invaluable moments. Thank you for being you. Thank you for everything. One of the last conversations we had was about what it means to be an eved hashem and how important it is to be a good yid. Hashem was listening dear friend, and he has taken you up to be with him in shamayim, and although it hurts soo bad that you are no longer on this world, you are indeed in a better place.
    May you and your Kalah Elisheva’s neshamas have an aliya.

    Your friend for life.

  12. A terrible tragedy. The neshomas should have an aliyah and the families should have nechoma from the words of jakob.

  13. NY State gives out some of the weakest sentences for DUI in the country. This should be life without parole.

  14. Terrible tragedy that reinforces the need for more stringent sentences for drunk drivers. There are too many judges who let offenders off for the first or even second offense with lax punishment. Same for texting while driving, Somehow, its viewed as a “victimless crime” and “everyone does it”….that is until “everyone” is someone you know and love. May the families be consoled by the wonderful expressions from their friends

    P.S. marbehshalom : No need to bring him into this thread….

  15. Words fail me as i sit and write about my dear and close friend Yisroel A”H. Im far from the only one who felt that they were a dear and close friend of his, he made everyone feel that way! His warmth was extended to everyone, and his infectious ‘varmkeit’ stayed with you much longer than his ever present bear hug lasted! He loved his family and friends with all his heart and then some more! They meant the world to him, and there was nothing he wouldnt do for them! He took great pleasure in making the people around him happy, and his witty humor brought laughter to all! I dont recall ever seeing him without a smile. He had the most incredible simchas hachaim and he loved just being alive! His davening was extraordinary, you were able to see him having a conversation with Hashem as if he was standing right before him! He learnt with a knock and a bren in a loud voice, and he was always on time for seder and his chavrusos! I got to see the depth of his emunah when his brother Ari a”h was niftar,he was such a maamin, truly beliving that everything was from Hashem and for the very best! He served Hashem and did mitzvos with a true simcha, and like his father said today he was the most pure and pristine matzah! He was so excited to be engaged to his wonderful kallah Elisheva, and couldnt wait for his chasunah! I didnt do him justice in this article because his complete persona can fill an entire library! The same way he sent packages of zchusim and did mitzvos for his brother Ari a”h we too should do the same for him. May he be a meilitz yosher for his dear family and all his friends, and may the bereaved be granted koach and nechama. Hamakom Yenachem Eschem.

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