Massive N.Y. Crash Leaves One Dead; 33 Hurt

Massive N.Y. Crash Leaves One Dead; 33 Hurt

News Dec 20, 2012

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (AP) — A tractor-trailer smashed into several vehicles on a major highway on Wednesday afternoon, setting off a chain reaction of fiery crashes, killing one person and injuring 33 others, police said.

The accident on the Long Island Expressway, about 70 miles east of New York City, left at least two dozen vehicles strewn across several hundred yards of the eastbound lanes. At least three vehicles, including the tractor-trailer, which was carrying storm debris, caught fire and were still smoldering into the early evening, a fire official said.

A 68-year-old Blue Point woman, who was driving a Toyota Camry eastbound on the expressway, died at the scene, police said. The injured were taken to three area hospitals.

The tractor-trailer driver, 42-year-old Raymond Simoneau, of Rockingham, Vt., was heading eastbound when the truck struck a number of cars, triggering a pileup involving 35 vehicles, Suffolk County police said. He was uninjured, police said.

A car involved in the initial collision with the tractor-trailer was incinerated beyond recognition, with its tires punctured and paint burned off its body. Some SUVs and cars suffered extensive damage while others appeared to have barely a scratch; all were haphazardly stopped across the highway, which is up to six lanes in parts.

Police Deputy Inspector Kevin Fallon said the accident occurred at about 2:40 p.m. on a bright, sunny day. He said the eastbound lanes of the roadway, which connects suburban Long Island neighborhoods with New York City, were expected to remain closed until Thursday morning.

The westbound lanes were expected to reopen before the Thursday morning rush hour.

Five fire departments responded to the scene as well as 19 Emergency Medical Services agencies, police said.

The cause of the accident hadn't been determined, and no charges had been filed related to it. Investigators were working to sort out the sequence of events that led to the accident, on an isolated stretch of road on the rural part of eastern Long Island, Fallon said.

"Anybody rolling up on this scene you would think there would be definitely more than just one fatality," said John Mirando, chief of the Ridge Fire Department. "It's just lucky that it's only one, but it could have been a lot worse."

Continue Reading

Driver Danny Gershonowitz told Newsday that he was ahead of the accident when he saw two cars stop on the road shoulder.

"The gentleman to the right of me went down to the ground and was praying. When I looked in my rear view mirror, there was smoke and flames coming out," he said.

He said he and others got the attention of the truck driver and helped him as he climbed out of his smoking vehicle.

"Pretty soon, the whole front of the truck was engulfed in fire, and that's when people started backing away," he said. "The police came and asked everybody to run and get out of the way, because I guess they thought it would explode."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source
Associated Press
FRANK ELTMAN
NHTSA's new video follows EMS data from its collection through its use to improve future care.
First Priority Global, one of the country's leading suppliers of public safety, emergency response and clean transportation solutions, announces the opening of a new facility in Flanders, NJ.
Christopher Wimmer was sentenced to jail time and probation for taking photos with 41 unconscious patients in a selfie competition he was in with another paramedic.
Students say the mock DUI accident was a very realistic learning experience, especially when firefighters, EMTs and police arrived at the scene.
The Columbia County EMS provider oversees emergency efforts from Lake City EOC during the latest storm.
EMTs, firefighters and police officers dealt with a car accident causing the release of sulfur dioxide and an active shooter in a hospital.
Search and rescue teams from all over the world traveled to Mexico City to help find survivors trapped in the rubble since Tuesday's 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
Residents who register with the program provide important details about health conditions and even bedroom locations so rescue workers spend less time searching for victims.
As soon as a runway can be cleared for their arrival, the 27-member Task Force 1 FEMA Urban Response Team is ready to take off for search and rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria's destruction of Puerto Rico.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council today recognized first responders for their commitment and dedication to delivering quality medical-care in the field during emergency situations.
Dr. Vincent Duron from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York received a $100,000 research grant to enhance standard pediatric trauma care.
The award-winning video features a series of stunning training courses driven by groundbreaking video demonstrations of the most commonly encountered fire ground evolutions.

A  7.1-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday leveled buildings, homes, and government centers across the city. At one partially flattened school, the hunt for dozens of missing children captivated the nation.

At least nine people have died, structural damage is extensive, and flooding coupled with 155mph winds has left the entire island without power.
The Volunteer First Responder Housing Act aims to recruit and retain volunteers in the community by providing discounts on house prices to eligible citizens.