SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – One person was killed and several others injured Saturday in a multi-vehicle crash on the Long Island Expressway.
Suffolk County police said it happened around 3:30 p.m. near exit 68 in Shirley.
A 2004 Ford pick-up truck driven by 37-year-old Peter Visconti Jr, of Mastic, heading west hit a 2011 Honda minivan, then crossed over the median into the eastbound lanes, where it struck a motorcycle and then a 2013 Toyota minivan, police said.
Visconti was charged with driving while impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation a motor vehicle and criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was taken to Long Island Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Seven people in the 2013 Toyota minivan were taken to area hospitals. Police said one female passenger was killed and another was in critical condition. The driver and four other passengers suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The man riding the motorcycle was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries.
The driver and passenger of the 2011 Honda minivan were not hurt.
Five of the victims were treated at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
“They were all in condition anywhere from fair to critical. Two of our patients required emergency surgery, which has been done successfully,” Chief of Trauma Surgery James Vosswinkel said. “We are very optimistic they will all recover from this horrific event.”
“It’s definitely stressful thinking about how the people want to be with their family tomorrow for Easter,” said nurse Mariel Kasschau. “You can tell the fear in their eyes. They don’t know what’s going on. Also, there is a language barrier – that develops another issue for the patients.”
The medical staff thanked Suffolk County volunteers, saying their fast response helped save lives.
“Everyone’s busy for the holidays for one thing or else, but these people showed up expeditiously,” Vosswinkel said.