A woman pulled over under suspicion of drunken driving fled police and drove the wrong way on a Long Island highway Tuesday, crashing into another car head-on and killing herself and the driver of the other car, authorities said.
Authorities say an officer tried to pull the woman over near Central Islip shortly before 3 a.m. but she drove off, nearly hitting the officer. The woman then drove the wrong way on the Northern State Parkway near and crashed head-on into another car near Dix Hills, police said.
Both drivers died as a result of the crash. Police say in addition to a possible DWI, they were also investigating whether the woman was driving a stolen car.
The highway was shut down for several hours between Wolf Hill Road (exit 41) and Deer Park Avenue (exit 42) but reopened around 9:30 a.m.
The identity of the two victims has not been released.
Suffolk Police said they followed proper protocol in the chase. Policy calls for a pursuit when "the necessity for immediate apprehension clearly outweighs the risk of danger created by the pursuit, such as an individual who may be operating a vehicle in an intoxicated condition."
Radio dispatch recordings from the call seem to verify that; a dispatcher is head telling officers: "All units use caution. Do not endanger the lives of the public or other officers. Road supervisor to direct the pursuit."
Dix Hills resident Pat Passos agreed, saying, "The cops really just were doing their job. They had to stop that person and that was the best of their ability. They did not expect that person to drive the wrong way."