Update: One Killed, 32 Injured in Serious Multi Vehicle Crash on LIE

Originally published: December 19, 2012
Updated: December 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm
By

Seventh Precinct officers are working with the district attorney's office to determine if there will be charges filed against the driver.

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[Update] Dec. 20, 2012 Yaphank, NY (MorichesDaily) – The Long Island Expressway has reopened following an investigation into Wednesday’s fatal multi-vehicle accident.

Officials say one person was killed and 32 were injured in a massive, multi-vehicle crash on the Long Island Expressway on the Shirley-Yaphank border.

The crash, which involved a tractor trailer striking a number of different vehicles, closed the LIE in both directions, between exits 66 and 69.

Witnesses said yesterday’s 35-car crash in Yaphank looked like “a scene out of war.”

Police said the investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing and, so far, no one has been charged. The crash occurred on the eastbound expressway west of Exit 68 — and just west of a construction zone that reduced the roadway to just one lane, police said.

According to police, truck driver Raymond Simoneau was carrying storm debris from Hurricane Sandy when he crashed into multiple cars.

About three-quarters of a mile to the east of the initial crash, the eastbound road was being reduced to one lane because of construction, officials said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene in the moments after the pileup. In an instant the roadway was transformed into a cauldron, with smashed vehicles and injured everywhere.
Those drivers and passengers fortunate enough not to be seriously injured rushed to the aid of injured motorists.

“It was the worst scene that I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Joseph Williams, whose 46 years of emergency service work included time as a FDNY firefighter and now commissioner of Suffolk County’s Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services agency.

“We had vehicles that were on fire. We had trucks that were on fire. We had a lot of people still trapped in their cars. We had a lot of citizens that weren’t injured helping other citizens.”

Police say an unidentified 68-year-old Blue Point woman was killed as a result of the crash. A total of 33 people have been injured, and storm debris was on fire for hours.

Peconic Bay Medical Center officials said they were treating 18 people from the crash, ranging from children in car seats to adults.

There were many cars burned out or flipped over on their side at the scene.

According to witness reports, a tractor trailer plowed into at least two dozen vehicles before stopping. This started a chain reaction crash and many of the vehicles including the truck were in flames.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said Thursday that Simoneau had a valid Vermont driver’s license and that no summonses were issued to him at the scene.

Police haven’t released information on Simoneau’s driving record. Seventh Precinct officers are working with the district attorney’s office to determine if there will be charges filed against Simoneau.

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