Man recounts moment he struck drunken passenger who leapt from car

Man recounts moment he struck drunken passenger who leapt from car

The driver who fatally struck a Queens man who had jumped from a moving car to escape his boozed-up gal pal said in a tearful interview Sunday that he will never get over the trauma.

“I can’t forget that noise,” Robert Diaz, his red-rimmed eyes filling with tears, told The Post of the moment he collided with Arif Hoosein on the Grand Central Parkway early Saturday.

“I keep hearing it. Boom!”

Diaz, 39, of Long Island, shook violently as he recounted how he’d been merging onto the thoroughfare around 4 a.m. when the accident occurred.

“I take that road every day,’’ Diaz said. “Everything happened so fast. I was looking over my left shoulder, merging on, and I just feel this boom.

“The passenger side of my windshield was broken . . . It was [Hoosein’s] head. His knees hit my bumper, his head hit my windshield,’’ the shaken man said. “The glass was on my chest, and I stopped the car.’’

Diaz said he then saw another vehicle up ahead, parked perpendicularly on the stretch of roadway.

He recalled how a woman suddenly materialized as he took stock of the horrifying situation and called for an ambulance.

“She said, ‘He jumped. I don’t know why he jumped,’ ” Diaz said, referring to Hoosein’s girlfriend, Savittrie Beria-Lackhan, 34, who authorities say later blew a .209 — well over twice the legal limit of .08 — on a Breathalyzer test.

“I said ‘Why did he jump?’ She said, ‘He said he was going to jump out of the car. I thought he was joking,’ ” Diaz said.

Cops say 30-year-old Hoosein jumped from Beria-Lackhan’s 2015 black Mercedes during a fight after a night of partying.

“They were arguing over who should drive,” a high-ranking police source said.

“He gets out in the middle of the Grand Central Parkway and gets hit by another vehicle. They were at a party before hand.”

Beria-Lackhan — who allegedly told cops she had been drinking Hennessey cognac and ginger ale before the crash — was hit with charges of drunken driving and operating a motor vehicle without a license. She was released on $20,000 bail.

Beria-Lackhan had a prior DWI in 2013 in Nassau County, according to prosecutors.

Diaz was not charged.

Hoosein’s uncle, Mahmoud Hussein, has said the family did not know Beria-Lackhan. The victim’s relatives declined comment Sunday.

The family at the address that police gave for Beria-Lackhan denied they knew her.

As for Diaz: “I’m not gonna be driving for a few days,” he said. “I can’t forget that noise.’’

Additional reporting by Tina Moore and Emily Saul

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