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CBS 2 Exclusive: Another Deadly L.I. Accident Just Hours After Safety Meeting About Curve

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ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Just hours before an accident in Roslyn Heights, Long Island that left two teenagers dead, town leaders were meeting about the dangerous curve where it happened and that drivers keep missing.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported exclusively Thursday, homeowner Ron Rosen told CBS 2 he was deeply concerned about the curve both before and after the latest accident on Roslyn Road near Locust Lane.

“It’s scary. I mean, it’s like playing Russian roulette here,” Rosen said in November. “You know, is it going to happen again? Is our luck going to run out?”

Steven Clancy, Javier Gonzalez

Steven Clancy (left) and Javier Gonzalez, both 19, were killed in a crash this week in Roslyn Heights, on a stretch of Roslyn Road where complaints about dangerous conditions have been mounting for years. (Credit: CBS 2)

At the time, two separate accidents had recently sent cars careering into Rosen’s family’s home on Oak Lane just off the curve.

Sadly, Rosen’s predictions came true. Around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, Steven Clancy, 19, was driving a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta north on Roslyn Road when he missed the curve, ran over the curb, and struck a tree in Rosen’s backyard.

Clancy and his passenger – Javier Gonzalez, 19 – were both pronounced dead at the scene.

“The most important thing I want to say is that my thoughts and prayers go out to the two families who lost their children,” Rosen said Thursday. “It is clear that Roslyn Road and Locust Lane — this intersection — is poorly designed and extremely dangerous. We have met with town officials, as well as county officials.”

Ironically, the latest back-and-forth safety meetings came 12 hours before the accident that killed Clancy and Gonzalez.

The two young men who were killed were graduates of Mineola High School, and they attended Adelphi University and Nassau County Community College.

“Everyone cares about them, they were such nice people,” said Amanda Leonick of East Williston, a friend and classmate of the victims. “It shouldn’t have happened. This whole thing shouldn’t have happened.”

Leonick and her father, Walter Leonick, said the community has been aware of multiple crashes at the site over the past decade. The curb of a residential triangle divide juts into busy Roslyn Road at Locust Lane.

“There have been a number of accidents here, and no one seems to acknowledge it,” Walter Leonick said.

In a total of three of the accidents, the cars flew off Roslyn Road and into the Rosens’ house. The Rosens have claimed the town and the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County were not quick to respond to years of jurisdictional squabbling.

Roslyn Road through Roslyn Heights is a county road, abutting residential homes that are on the corner of Locust Lane, a town road.

After a drag-racing car hit the Rosens’ house in November, Nassau County police explained that most of the crashes at the intersection are due to speed and alcohol, and happen in the middle of the night.

Meanwhile, Rosen and others wonder of the latest accident could have been prevented.

“It’s most difficult for the families who lost their children, but my whole family certainly is emotionally distraught by this,” Rosen said.

CBS 2 reached out to the town and county Thursday, and this time saw almost immediate action. A speed warning indicator has been posted, and CBS 2 was told there are also plans for flashing yellow beacons, speed restrictions, and guardrails.

The town and county told CBS 2 that road improvements were already under way before the latest accident.

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