A 17-year-old girl died in a devastating crash involving the Mustang she was riding in and a Jeep Wrangler on Long Island, police say. Two other teenagers were badly hurt.
Police on Thursday identified the victim who died in the mid-afternoon crash on Indian Head Road in Commack Wednesday as Isabel Carella, of Smithtown. They say she was a passenger in the 2008 Ford Mustang that slammed into a Jeep near Carldon Road after the 17-year-old Ford driver swerved to avoid another car and lost control.
The Mustang driver, who lives in Kings Park, was taken to a hospital and was in intensive care after the crash. A second passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the car, suffering serious injuries. A third passenger suffered less serious injuries and was also taken to a hospital for treatment. Those two passengers, 16- and 17-year-old boys, were in the back seats.
Carella was in the front seat, and died on impact.
Suffolk County police say the 19-year-old woman driving the Jeep Wrangler that got hit endured injuries that weren't believed to be life-threatening. She was also taken to a hospital for treatment but is expected to recover. Footage from the scene showed the Jeep's front smashed and much of the body of the vehicle appear wrecked.
Police say their investigation is ongoing, but they do not suspect any criminality.
"The preliminary cause of the crash appears to be distraction on the part of the operator of the Mustang, but we have no indication speed was a factor at this time," said Det. Lt. Michael Crowley.
The high school senior, who was known to friends as Izzy, was a competitive dancer who would have been performing at a recital on Friday.
A photo board posted outside the family's Smithtown home Thursday indicated Carella had been set to graduate from Kings Park High School in just a matter of days. A man who answered the door at the home said the family had no comment.