DIX HILLS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two people are dead after a woman fleeing from a traffic stop drove the wrong-way on the Northern State Parkway and crashed head-on into another car, Suffolk County police said.
It all began around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Central Islip area. Police said a woman driving an SUV refused to cooperate with an officer during a routine traffic stop and drove off.
“In fleeing from the scene, she almost struck the police officer at the scene,” Suffolk County Police Det. Lt. Darrel Simmons said. “The police officer then engaged in a police pursuit.”
During the chase, the suspect then got onto the Northern State Parkway going the wrong way around 2:40 a.m., police said.
“The suspect vehicle eventually made its way onto the eastbound lanes of the Northern State Parkway,” Simmons said. “The suspect vehicle was going in the wrong direction, going westbound in the eastbound lanes.”
That’s when she collided head-on with a Honda Accord, the fiery crash killing both drivers, police said. The burned out SUV and wrecked sedan could be seen at the site of the crash.
Both sides of the Northern State Parkway were closed for hours near Deer Park Avenue between exits 41 and 42 as police investigated, but the roadway has since reopened.
Investigators referred CBS2 to their policy on police chases which states, in part, that officers should not pursue a vehicle if they’re putting the public in danger, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
It also clearly states pursuits should happen in only extenuating circumstances and not solely for traffic violations, Burrell reported.
Police said the initial stop of the female driver was for suspicion of DWI and a stolen vehicle.
It was a tough call for officers. As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the woman was allegedly drunk, speeding, and endangering the lives of other motorists.
The Suffolk County legislature’s Public Safety Committee has been looking for a focused revuew of potentially dangerous pursuits, not to hinder police abilities, but to help officers confirm they’re making safe decisions.
The investigation is ongoing.