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Queens Chronicle

Drag racers charged with reckless behavior

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Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009 12:00 am

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Monday that criminal charges against two Flushing teenagers accused of participating in an illegal street race last week — in which their cars collided and critically injured a 12-year-old passenger — will be upgraded to include second-degree manslaughter following the 12-year-old’s death this past weekend. The new charges carry a maximum prison term of 15 years upon conviction.

“In view of the tragic death this past weekend of 12-year-old Aviv Babayev who succumbed to injuries suffered in the crash, the charges against the two teenage defendants will be upgraded to include second-degree manslaughter,” Brown said. “Drag racing is a serious threat to public safety. Immature young drivers get behind the wheel and turn our streets into speedways. Their reckless conduct endangers lives. Such illegal speed contests have no place on the streets of our city.”

The defendants are David Lakhchakov, 16, of 76th Road, and David Badalov, 18, of 78th Drive. The existing charges against the defendants include second-degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and various violations of the vehicle and traffic laws — including reckless driving, speed contest and, in the case of Lakhchakov, driving by an unlicensed driver. Bail for both defendants has been set at $250,000.

According to the criminal charges, Badalov and Lakhchakov were racing at upwards of 76 miles per hour along Francis Lewis Boulevard in the vicinity of Weeks Lane, a 35 miles per hour zone, on Aug. 12, when Badalov lost control of his 2004 BMW and slammed into the 2009 Lexus being driven by Lakhchakov and then struck a parked 2004 Ford van. Badalov and two passengers in the BMW — 18-year-old Illya Ishakov and Babayev — were taken to a local Queens hospital. Babayev, who was sitting in the backseat and was the most seriously injured, suffered two broken femurs, a broken pelvis, severe trauma to his torso and head, and swelling to his brain. He succumbed to his injuries this past weekend.

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