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1 Dead, 2 In Custody After Possible Drag Racing Crash On State Island, Police Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- One man is dead and two drivers are in custody following an early-morning crash on Staten Island, according to authorities.

Police said a Dodge Charger was driving north on the West Shore Expressway near Arden Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. when it rear-ended a Honda Pilot, which then hit a van. Both the Charger and Pilot lost control.

Robert Riccardi was on his way home when he saw the crash.

"I see the Honda Pilot hit the guardrail over there, spun out, the car that crashed here, which was a Dodge Charger, spun and took the pole down and flipped over," he told CBS2's Raegan Medgie.

Riccardi said he tried to help the victim.

"We couldn't get the seat belt off him. As my son-in-law, Zach, went in the car to cut the seat belt, an off-duty paramedic came with his bag trying to help," he said.

A passenger in the Charger, 39-year-old Dennis White, of Brooklyn, was killed in the crash.

"He didn't deserve this," his sister, Denise Wayne, said. "He was a good guy. I don't know how this happened to him." 

She visited the crash site Sunday.

"I'm trying to get some closure. I don't know, it's just so hard to accept. He was just 39," she said. "His birthday is November 18. He said he was going to have a big fish fry for his 40th. He didn't even make it."

Police are investigating whether speed was a factor in the crash. Initial reports said the drivers may have been drag racing.

Wayne said her two daughters were in the backseat of the Charger when it flipped. They were treated at Richmond University Medical Center and are expected to be OK.

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