It was a horrific scene on a quiet Central Islip street Thursday morning. In a pre-dawn crash, a 1997 Lexus was literally ripped to pieces after striking two trees, with human body parts and debris strewn everywhere.
"It was the worst car accident I've ever seen," said Suffolk Police Detective Sergeant William Rand. "I am amazed anyone walked away from it."
Five people were in the car; two died, according to police. The victims were identified as Kelly Mallazzo, 18 of Hauppauge and Kenyen Gaskins, 23 of Central Islip. Gaskins home was about a block from the scene.
The driver, Taylor Nolte, 19 of Centereach survived but she is now charged with drunk driving. Beer cans were found in the car, according to investigators.
"It appears they had been out in the car all night, drinking," said Det. Sgt. Rand.
Friends of the victims left candles, flowers and balloons at the crash site.
"I can't believe this happened to him," Ashley Norval said of Gaskins. "He was such a great person."
Gaskins, friends said, was about to enroll at Suffolk Community College.
Speed also played a role in the crash, investigators said. It was estimated the Lexus was hurtling down the street at over 80 mph before Nolte lost control.
Nolte remains hospitalized with two other unidentified men, ages 25 and 20, who also survived the wreck.
Friends said Nolte was about to join the Marines Corps.
"She is a good person, who would never hurt anyone," said Casey Knol.
Nolte will be arraigned on drunk driving charges when she is released from the hospital, officials said, but eventually those charges could be upgraded.