Suffolk County

1 Dead, 8 Hurt After Drugged Driver Causes Multi-Car Crash on the Long Island Expressway: Authorities

A driver of a pickup truck was charged with DWI at an area hospital

What to Know

  • A minivan, pickup truck and a motorcycle were among a number of vehicles involved in a crash on the Long Island Expressway
  • Police said a drugged driver in the pickup truck crashed into multiple vehicles in both the eastbound and westbound lanes around 3:30 p.m.
  • One person was pronounced dead at an area hospital and several others were hospitalized with injuries that ranged from serious to critical

This story has been updated to reflect that the driver was allegedly impaired by drugs, not alcohol, as first reported.

A drugged driver struck a minivan on the Long Island Expressway before crossing the grassy median and hitting several other vehicles in a crash that killed one woman, injured eight others and closed a stretch of the busy highway for hours, police and a hospital official said.

Some of the people hurt in the crash were rushed to Stony Brook University Hospital, where their injuries ranged from non-life-threatening to critical, according to police, who said the woman who was killed was pronounced dead at the hospital.

James Vosswinkel, a doctor at Stony Brook, said many of the victims appeared to be in shock. "They're not exactly sure what happened," he said.

The crash unfolded near Exit 68 in Shirley when a drugged driver in a pickup truck crashed into a minivan in the westbound lanes around 3:30 p.m., police said.

A multi-vehicle crash shut down part of the Long Island Expressway Saturday. Raw video shows the scene.

After striking the minivan, the truck’s driver skidded through the grassy median and into the eastbound lanes, where he crashed into a motorcycle and another minivan.

A passenger in one of the two minivans was the person killed, according to police.

Video from the scene early in the evening shows a heavily damaged red minivan, a pickup truck with front-end damage and a wrecked motorcycle. In the video, debris scatters the roadway and there are tire tracks in the grassy median separating the east and westbound lanes.

The driver of the pickup truck, a 37-year-old man from Mastic, was taken to an area hospital and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and criminal possession of a controlled substance, police said. He has not been identified.

All lanes at Exit 68 were closed for about six hours before reopening around 9 p.m.

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