Three camp counselors at a summer camp for people with disabilities lost their lives and two others were injured in a horrific crash on the Meadowbrook Parkway on Long Island this morning, state police said
The one-vehicle accident occurred around 8:45 a.m. Thursday on the parkway in Roosevelt while the counselors were en route to Camp Anchor in Lido Beach, officials said.
The gray Honda was traveling southbound on the parkway in the left lane when it veered right, across all lanes, leaving the roadway and striking a tree on the right shoulder, according to State Police spokesman Jamie Kanuski. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the accident. The investigation is ongoing.
Pronounced dead at the scene were front seat passenger Michael Mulhall, 22, rear seat passengers Paige Malone, 19, and her sister Jaime Malone, 22, officials said. All three were from Floral Park.
The driver of the car, Michael's sister, Justine Mulhall, 20, and rear seat passenger Kelly Murphy, 20, both also of Floral Park were the only survivors of the crash.
Rescuers had to use the "Jaws of Life" to cut open the cars passenger side doors and roof to free the occupants, and the two surviving women were taken to Nassau University Medical Center, officials said.
Mulhall and Murphy were treated for minor injuries at Nassau University Medical Center.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said one was in stable condition and the other was in "satisfactory" condition.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray broke down in tears as she spoke of the young counselors, calling them "kids with big hearts."
Camp Anchor is run by the town of Hempstead and Murray said the 600 campers there have special needs ranging from autism to Down Syndrome to quadriplegia.
She said that those who were able to understand were told what happened.
"Everyone is devastated," said Murray, "the camp is reeling."