A multi-vehicle pile-up on the eastbound Long Island Expressway Wednesday afternoon resulted in one fatality and at least 32 other people suffering varying degrees of injuries.
According to an Associated Press report from Shirley, N.Y., the pile-up happened just before 3 p.m. There were multiple vehicles involved in the accident and several of them, including at least one car and one tractor trailer, were on fire at the scene. AP relies on a local news helicopter (Chopper 12) and its footage for portions of its report.
The eastbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway were closed from Exits 65 through 69 through the evening hours as authorities and emergency crews responded to possible injured motorists and to clear the highway of the numerous vehicles involved in the accident.
Some cars were burned beyond recognition while others suffered only minor damage
Vehicles were damaged in varying degrees, as well. Some cars were burned beyond recognition while others suffered only minor damage. Vehicles, though they were traveling east, were arranged in different directions all over the highway, according to the eyewitness reports.
One motorist who was traveling just a few vehicles ahead of the accident said he saw another motorist behind him suddenly slow down, pull to the side of the road, get out of his car, and he knelt down and began praying. It was at that time that the witness motorist said he saw a wall of fire and smoke headed their way.
Several motorists came to the rescue of one tractor trailer driver who was involved in the wreck. As his truck began to smoke, several others pulled him from his vehicle and out of the way. Just as they removed him from the wreck, the truck burst into flames. Police arriving on scene urged those motorists to run from the truck because they feared it could explode.
More details on this accident on the Long Island Expressway will be updated Thursday as investigators begin their investigations into the cause and the exact extent of the injuries and damage.