Jason Shein was 21, studying to become a doctor and hoping to practice one day in New York, close to his family in Levittown.
Shortly after midnight Sunday, driving home from a dinner with friends
at Applebee's in Farmingdale, he was killed when a drunken driver's SUV
slammed head-on into his car, Nassau police said.
Valley Stream, who is on
probation from a previous drunken driving conviction, was arrested on
manslaughter and 11 other charges.
Shein, a volunteer emergency medical technician and aspiring
neurologist, was pronounced dead at the scene on Conklin Street in
He was on Thanksgiving break from the University of Miami and had just
had a farewell dinner with three friends -- all passengers in his 1998
Chrysler Sebring convertible -- when he was hit. He had planned to fly
back to Florida Sunday.
"He asked me what I thought about him coming home for Thanksgiving,"
said his mother, Betsy Shein. "I said absolutely. I hadn't seen him in
four months. He couldn't wait to have my turkey for Thanksgiving."
He also couldn't wait to see his sister's twin 1-year-old boys, Gavin and Andrew.
"And he couldn't wait to go hang out with his friends," Betsy Shein
said. He was so proud of his rank of assistant vice president of
administration at Canes Emergency Response Team in Miami, he brought a
box of business cards to hand out to his buddies, she said.
Shein was the one his friends turned to when they needed to talk about
a problem, his mother said. She called him a caring son and grandson,
doting on his grandmother, who died last year at age 96.
"All she would say to anybody was, 'That's my grandson. He's going to
be a doctor,'" Betsy Shein said. "He didn't want to let her down. He
just went for it."
The other driver, Esquivel, was going east on Conklin when his 2000
Ford Explorer crossed the double yellow line to pass another vehicle
and struck Shein, police said.
Shein's passengers, all 21-year-old men whose names were withheld, were
taken to Nassau University Medical Center. One was admitted in serious
condition, the others treated and released.
Police said Esquivel was treated at the same hospital but they gave no
details on his injuries. He will be arraigned when his condition allows.
Among the charges he faces are second-degree manslaughter, first-degree
vehicular manslaughter, second-degree assault, first-degree vehicular
assault and felony driving while intoxicated.
In June 2006, Esquivel pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of
driving while intoxicated, state records show. He was sentenced on
Sept. 15, 2006, to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine and three years'
Shein, a graduate of Division Avenue High School in Levittown, was a
Yankees fan and loved spending time with friends and family.
He is also survived by his father, Albert, and two sisters, Deena Shein, 32, and Jami Anspach, 30, of Levittown.
The wake will be tomorrow at O'Shea Funeral Home on Wantagh Avenue in Wantagh from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
"He was just very caring, very smart, very sensitive to others'
emotions," Deena Shein said. "He was a very loyal friend."At
Thanksgiving dinner in Levittown Thursday, Deena Shein's fiance invited
Jason to be in their wedding party, Betsy Shein said.
Jason said: "I can't wait."