MEDFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island are investigating a fatal crash that left a 16-year-old boy dead and three other teens injured.
A 2002 Toyota overturned and struck a tree after the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle around 1:20 a.m. Friday on Gray Avenue in Medford, police said.
“I heard brakes slam and I heard a big boom,” neighbor Savi Suddeen told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
A 16-year-old passenger, identified as David Ross of Middle Island, was ejected from the vehicle, police said. He was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center where he died.
The driver, 17-year-old David Longford of Medford, and two male passengers, ages 15 and 17, were taken to local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police told Gusoff that Longford had a learners permit, which prohibits night driving and driving without an adult in the car. He was charged with unlicensed operation. Neighbors said they were stunned he was behind the wheel in a fatal crash.
“When I do see him [he is] very, very polite, so I’m blown away by this,” one neighbor said.
Longwood High School deployed its crisis team on what would have been a celebratory last day of class and prom night. Ross was a junior who loved computers, Gusoff reported.
“Our school community mourns the loss of this fantastic young man,” school officials said in a statement.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Investigators are checking the vehicle for any mechanical flaws, but police said speed may have been a factor in the crash.
“The vehicle may have been traveling in an excessive speed, namely about 45 in a 30 zone, the roads were wet,” Sgt. Mike Fitzharris told 1010 WINS. “There is no apparent DWI involvement.”
Gray Avenue residents told Gusoff the hilly stretch is a like a raceway.
“There is a sign up there that says hill obstructs view but it’s just ignored,” resident Raymond Nassar said.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.
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