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Car Accident in Suffolk County Claims Life of Elderly Man, Others Seriously Injured

Jan 15, 2013

A Long Island man has been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs and for leaving the scene of several accidents following a police chase Sunday afternoon that left one elderly man dead and an elderly recovering from serious injuries.

According to New York Newsday (, 46-year-old Thomas Herman is recovering from serious but not life-threatening injuries at nearby Brookhaven Hospital after police say he hit five different vehicles in his attempt to escape a police chase Sunday afternoon in Sayville, N.Y.

At the end of the chase, Herman - driving a Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUV - collided with a vehicle driven by 82-year-old Sam Longo, killing him and seriously injuring his 79-year-old female passenger. He also struck a vehicle driven by a 49-year-old man who was treated and later released from the same hospital treating Herman. The passenger in the vehicle driven by Longo suffered neck and pelvic injuries in the crash and was transported to Southshore Hospital, Bay Shore, N.Y., for treatment.

Police officials in Suffolk County, N.Y., say that charges of driving while influenced by drugs and leaving the scene of the accident have already been filed against Herman and that more charges are likely pending their investigation. He is currently being held “under guard” at Brookhaven until he’s recovered enough from his injuries to be taken into custody to be arraigned before a judge.

The fatal crash occurred when Herman attempted to negotiate his SUV between the vehicles driven by Longo and the other man. They were travelling east- and westbound on W. Main St. in Sayville at the time. Instead of getting by them, he struck both. Police say that Herman struck a total of five vehicles during the chase.

All the vehicles involved in the accidents have been impounded for further investigation and anyone with information on the incidents or who may have witnessed any part of the chase is being asked to call a tip line to add to the investigation.

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