MERRICK, N.Y. — A reverend who had finished preaching a few hours before getting into his vehicle died when a man who police suspect was high on drugs crashed into the reverend’s car. The reverend’s vehicle slammed into a tree. According to the report filed by Long Island News 12, the crash happened shortly after midnight on Friday, April 19, 2019, on the Southern State Parkway in Massapequa. Troopers from the New York State Police say that the 23-year-old driver will face criminal charges. According to the New York Patch, the State Police have not completed their investigation.
Investigators say that the 69-year-old reverend who lived in North Bellmore, gave a sermon Thursday night at a service in Merrick. Sadly, the reverend died a few hours later. State Police said that the reverend was driving a 2019 GMC sports utility vehicle on the westbound side of the Southern State Parkway around 12:10 a.m. Friday morning when a 23-year-old man driving a 2017 Honda Accord plowed into the rear of the reverend’s GMC. The violent collision propelled the reverend’s vehicle off of the highway and into some trees that lined the parkway.
Rescuers flocked to the scene of the crash, which State Police noted to be west of Exit 30. State Police arrested the driver of the Honda at the scene of the crash. They charged him with manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the third degree and driving under the influence of drugs. The prosecution team stated that the driver admitted to consuming drugs before driving that night.
The revered died at a local hospital. His wife, who was also in the GMC, survived the crash and is recovering at a local hospital. The court set a $500,000 bond on the driver. News 12 also reported that the driver was arrested about one week before the crash on possession of heroin charges. The criminal cases are still pending.
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