Two sentenced in crash that killed engaged couple

Brooklyn man convicted in connection with 2018 crash that killed newly engaged couple sentenced to eighteen years-to-life in prison.

Mordechai Sones ,


A Brooklyn man convicted in connection with a 2018 crash on Long Island that killed newly engaged couple Yisroel Levin and Elisheva Kaplan was sentenced today to eighteen years-to-life in prison, reports the Yeshiva World.

Levin was killed together with his fiancee Elisheva Kaplan in a car crash in Inwood, New York that shook the U.S. Jewish community. While Kaplan was buried in New York, Levin was laid to rest in Beit Shemesh next to his older brother, who passed away years ago.

The couple had become engaged just a few weeks prior and were to be married two months hence.

Rahmel Watkins was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide, assault, reckless endangerment and reckless driving in the deaths of 21-year-old Levin and his 20-year-old bride Kaplan.

Zakiyyah Steward, who along with Watkins was part of a group of cars traveling in the northbound lanes of the Nassau Expressway in Inwood from Far Rockaway to a Queens casino, was sentenced to 3 to 9 years in prison.

The judge who had refrained from jailing the women responsible for killing the couple while driving drunk later regretted his leniency.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino had decided not to jail 25-year old Steward after she was arrested for robbing her former employer. At the time, Sciarrino sentenced Steward to a rehabilitation program.

Sciarrino subsequently said he regretted not meting her a jail sentence after she killed Yisroel Levin and his fiancée Elisheva Kaplan in the crash.

Watkins was racing at least one other vehicle and going roughly 100 mph before his car swerved into the opposite lane and crashed into the Ultima that burst into flames. Kaplan and Levin were trapped inside the car and were killed. Nine people were involved in the crash.