Five Connecticut children were killed in a horrific car accident on the Hutchinson River Parkway in New York at 12:20 on Sunday morning/Saturday night.
A teenage driver with no license or learner’s permit was distracted or fell asleep behind the wheel of an SUV that crashed and caught fire on the Hutchinson River Parkway, killing him and four underage relatives, authorities said Monday. There was no supervising adult in, near or trailing the Connecticut-bound Nissan Rogue that crashed into a boulder, hit a tree and burst into flames in Scarsdale, Westchester County, just after midnight Sunday, authorities said. Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the driver appeared to have trouble negotiating a curve. Driver Malik Smith, 16, lived in East New York, Brooklyn, according to his father.
“We do not believe speed was a factor in this accident,” Latimer told reporters. “It is a road that curves quite a bit. It curves to the left, then goes downhill. The driver did not turn with the roadway, and continued in a straight line.”
Killed in the single-car crash were Malik and passengers Anthony Billips, 17, Zahnyiah Cross, 12, Shawnell Cross 11, and Andrew Billips, 8. Only a 9-year-old boy, riding in the rear cargo area of the SUV, survived, officials said. He escaped out the back of the vehicle, through the shattered liftgate glass, and was taken to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla with non-life-threatening injuries.
Latimer knows the road well.
“It’s a road I’m personally familiar with,” he said. “As a matter of fact I drove over that same road two hours before the accident.”
There is no guardrail on the right side of the road.
“It does require a driver to stay alert and move with the changes of the roadway,” Latimer said, adding that the parkway speed limit is 55 mph.
Officials said the driver had neither a driver’s license nor a learner’s permit in Connecticut or New York. Under New York State law, drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from having more than one passenger unless the passengers are members of their immediate family or there is a passenger older than 21 in the vehicle. In Connecticut, a 16-year-old is prohibited from driving with passengers under the age of 20 and with nonfamily members. Drivers younger than 18 also may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless it is for employment, school, religious activity or medical necessity. The driver’s dad said he was aware his namesake son was driving without even a learner’s permit.
“Yeah, I was,” Malik Smith told CBS News. “I told him, his mother told him, his older brothers told him: Stop driving without a license, without a permit. Anything happens, you get pulled over, you get in trouble for these things. Stop doing this.”
Distraught dad Anthony Billips wrote what he called “the most painful post I ever had to write in my life,” saying that his family had “lost our precious kids in a fatal car accident.”
“The pain we are feeling words [can’t] even express, and we wouldn’t wish this to happen to anyone in this world,” he wrote on Facebook.
Police said the group had been at a mall or family gathering and were on their way to their homes in Connecticut. Latimer said the vehicle was a rental.
“The vehicle was rented by a relative,” he explained. “It remains under investigation as to how Malik Smith had access to it.”
Officials said all five victims were from Connecticut and had just moved to a community there. School officials in Derby, Conn., said the boys and girls had not yet enrolled in their new schools.
Over the last month, DCF has been working with New York’s Child Protective Services to execute a “courtesy visit” to speak with the same children in the car based on a different incident the agency was made aware of in New York. CPS discovered nothing during these interviews.
This is such a horrible tragedy, and the 9 year old lone survivor who had to crawl out of a burning vehicle will forever be scarred from watching 5 of his family members die in front of him. But the question remains – why were 6 children driving on a curvy, two lane highway without a license at 12:20 in at night? None of them were old enough to rent the car they were driving, so who was it rented to?
A family member we spoke with, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a post earlier in the week that caught our attention. According to her none of the children were enrolled in school, and their parents routinely sent them down the Hutchinson River Parkway to panhandle in New York City and New Jersey. She also alleges that the $67K they raised in a GoFundMe is fraudulent because the children have been cremated for free by the state.
Zahnyiah Cross, 12, and Shawnell Cross, 11, were the daughters of DaShawna Cross, who created the GoFundMe. This is Mom.
Timbuck Tittoo’s primary focus right now is making sure that you donate to her fraudulent GoFundMe, and not the other fraudulent GoFundMe.
I looked through her Facebook page and could hardly find any pictures of the children she loved so much that she left them drive to a crime infested city with an unlicensed driver in order to panhandle for her benefit. She mostly posted about grown woman stuff like this:
But now that they’re deceased she’s using them to get more donos, and passing herself off as a loving and caring mother.
Lord Jesus didn’t take your babies. Your shitty parenting did. You’re right about one thing though – these kids did not deserve this. They deserved to be raised by people who loved them unconditionally and would do anything to protect them. Instead they got you, and they’re dead as a result of that.
It gets crazier though.
The driver, 16 year old Malik Smith, lived in Derby, CT with the rest of the children. His parents, for unknown reasons, lived in New York City. Seventeen year old Anthony Billips, who died in the crash, was the son of Anthony Billips Sr. and another woman. Malik Smith is his Godson.
The 8 year old who died, Andrew Billips, was the son of Anthony Billips Sr. and Natazia Billips.
But Anthony and Natazia were in a polygamous relationship with DaShawna Cross, and he allegedly impregnated her with your youngest child who was not in the car.
Timbuck Titoo and the Buffet Burritos all have lived together under the same roof in Derby since last year, since moving from Waterbury in 2022. This is contrary to news reports that they had just moved to Derby from NYC and hadn’t had a chance to enroll in school yet.
So why weren’t authorities alerted that 5 children from the ages of 8-16 were living in Derby and not attending school? DCF once again proved how useless they were on this one:
Now, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families says it paid a “courtesy visit” to interview the children last month, based on an alleged incident that occurred in New York. The visit came at the request of New York Child Protective Services.
What was the alleged incident that occurred in New York? Did something happen on one of their panhandling trips? Why didn’t DCF communicate with the school to let them know that these children were truant? Why didn’t DCF step in to see what their living conditions were like? How many children were sleeping in the same bedroom? I can’t imagine they were getting regular doctor’s visit, or wearing clean clothing. What is the purpose of a child protective agency that doesn’t do anything to protect children who are in danger?
According to the family member we spoke with it was quite common for them to take trips like this, and Anthony Billips Sr. handed the rental car keys to the 16 year old unlicensed driver:
Yes. That is 100% true. The children would sometimes panhandle in NYC in subways and on the street as well. The mother ( Natazia Billips), the father (Anthony Billips), and the other mom (Da’Shawna Cross) forced the children to go to New Jersey to panhandle that day. Anthony Billips handed Malik the keys and would allow him to drive long distances and locally without a license nor permit. The parents did not work and the children panhandle to pay all the bills.
This story is so tragic because it was so preventable. Three years ago the politicians who run New York and Connecticut were tweeting out “black lives matter” like it was going out of style. But apparently the only black lives they care about are the ones who are killed by white police officers. Five black children are dead because all of these government agencies designed to protect them did nothing while they were neglected. They were even alerted to the problem and still did nothing after an investigation.
But that’s not to pass the blame on the most negligent people in this story – their parents. All three of them should be rotting in jail, and the rest of the children in their home should be removed. Instead they’re raking in over $67K in cash for a burial that isn’t going to happen. All these children were to their parents were cute little props they could use to make money for the family so that the adults didn’t have to get a job. Now that they’re dead they continue to serve this lone purpose.