Deadly Long Island Expressway Crash Claims Six LivesAug 24, 2016
On Sunday, August 21, at about 9:35 a.m., an SUV swerved off the road, careened over a grassy median, went airborne, and hit a BMW and a Honda traveling in the opposite direction. Six lives were lost including the Subaru Outback's driver, age 26, who had lost control of his vehicle. Five survivors of the crash were taken to area hospitals, some with non-life-threatening injuries. Suffolk police Chief of Detectives Gerard Gigante said that people who witnessed the crash claimed the SUV had been speeding at the time.
Road construction, not active on Sunday morning, caused traffic to slow on a section of the road between Exits 68 and 69 on the Long Island Expressway, and is "pretty well marked" with signs and cones, according to Gigante. "There's a slight rise in the road, over the bridge, to smooth out the plate. If you're going on it at a high rate of speed, it could be a contributing factor."
The State Department of Transportation (DOT) is cooperating with the police in their investigation to examine whether road conditions were a contributing factor, as they normally do in crashes involving fatalities, reports Newsday.
Among the fatalities was a 29-year-old man in the Honda, who worked as the communications director for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and was previously a staffer for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Also killed were the Subaru driver's 27-year-old sister and her son, age 10. A Westhampton husband, age 81, and his wife, age 71, succumbed to their injuries in an area hospital.
There was no evidence that drugs or alcohol were factors, told Gigante, but investigators are awaiting the medical examiner's official report, according to Newsday.