NORTH MERRICK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A man has been charged with reckless driving, after he allegedly hit and killed two people with his pickup truck on the Meadowbrook Parkway on Monday after the victims’ car broke down.
Robert Beodeker, 50, of Aquebogue, was also charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, and more charges may be coming, New York State Police said.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the road was closed in the Merrick area until 6:40 p.m. It was shut down just after midday with two people dead in the roadway.
The accident occurred just south of the Southern State Parkway entrance on the southbound side in North Merrick.
State police said the two men — John Elder, 76, of Freeport; and Edward Ross, 65, of North Bellmore — had pulled over and were outside their disabled white Nissan Maxima working on it when they were struck by a southbound-traveling GMC pickup truck that was merging as the road narrows from three lanes to two, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
“The gentleman that was traveling southbound either didn’t observe or failed to see that the lanes were merging and he struck the vehicle that was broken down and being worked on by the two individuals that were killed,” State Police Capt. Kevin Buchal said.
Elder and Ross were struck with such force that they were flung into the air, Rivera reported. They were thrown dozens of feet and were pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the pickup truck stopped. Initially, no criminality was suspected, but Beodeker was later charged.
Police said the disabled car was parked on painted hazard lines in a safety zone area, so its driver may have thought it was safe to exit the car.
“It’s never safe to stop,” Buchal said.
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