A New York man has been arrested after being caught on video hailing down a taxi while his friend burned to death in a vehicle he crashed nearby.
The incident occurred in Brooklyn on Oct. 13, WABC reported. In the video, Saeed Ahmad, 23, is seen flagging down a taxi while his vehicle is engulfed in flames.
Harleen Grewel, 25, was in the car at the time of the crash and did not escape. She was pronounced dead at the scene after firefighters found her charred body in the passenger seat.
Saeed was allegedly weaving in and out of traffic on a highway before crashing his 2007 Infiniti G35 into a concrete barrier. He is believed to have escaped the wreckage before calling for a taxi to take him to a hospital.
He was later arrested at the hospital, where he was treated for burns to his arms and legs after the crash, the Daily Mail reported. His father, Mohammad Azam, said he doesn't know what his son was thinking when he allegedly fled the scene of the crash.
"I don't know what happened yet, I need to see him, talk to him, find out what happened," Azam told the New York Daily News. “He comes home late and leaves with friends. I ask where he’s going, he doesn’t like me bothering him.”
But Saeed's brother, Waheed Ahmad, said Saeed was trying to save Grewel before flagging down the taxi.
“He did not just run away from the scene. He lost his phone in the car [and was] unable to call the ambulance,” Waheed, 21, told the New York Post. “He tried to get her out. That’s how his hands and his legs and his neck got burned. He couldn’t get her out. The fire got too crazy. It just burned so quick."
Waheed added that his brother “was in pain” and since “the ambulance wasn’t coming,” he got into a taxi to take him to a nearby hospital.
“Everything is chaos right now. We are shocked," Waheed continued. "It’s horrifying for the girl and her family."
“He’s emotionally distraught," Waheed added of his brother. "Every time they ask him about what happened, he’s crying and screaming. His friend burned alive.”
Saeed told police he had been drinking alcohol before the crash, but blood tests revealed he was not legally drunk. He is currently facing charges of criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and speeding.
Grewal’s boyfriend, Karan Singh Dhillon, described the victim as a selfless soul.
“She would do anything for people,” Dhillon told the New York Daily News. “She would give someone the clothes off her back. She would give someone food and go hungry.”