At least one teenager was killed and another seriously injured, officials said, in a two-car crash Tuesday afternoon at a Westbury corner that neighbors said has long been a dangerous intersection.
At least two other victims suffered less serious injuries in the crash involving the two cars. One of the cars, carrying three teenagers, broadsided the other, carrying a woman, police said.
One of the teenagers was ejected from the vehicle, witnesses and police said.
"We're looking into whether he blew the stop sign," said Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Nassau police. "May be excessive speed."
Police did not release the names of the victims in the crash, which occurred at 5:38 p.m. at Bowling Green Drive and Salisbury Road. The three in the car were students at nearby W.T. Clarke High School.
Shelley Lotenberg, a spokeswoman for Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, said two teenagers were brought in for treatment at that hospital. One of them was pronounced dead, Lotenberg said.
About a dozen teenagers hugged each other and cried outside the hospital's emergency room Tuesday night.
"We were basically brothers," said Joe Muth, 17, of Westbury, who said he was the dead teen's best friend. "I lost my other half."
A second teenager, a boy, was being treated at the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit and was listed in stable condition, Lotenberg said.
A third male teenager was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola. His condition was unknown Tuesday night.
The fourth victim, the woman who was driving the other car, was also taken to NUMC, but information about her condition was not available Tuesday night.
Police said the accident packed so much force that one of the vehicles ripped the bottom half off a utility pole and left its upper portion dangling by the electrical wires it was designed to support.
The accident was still being investigated Tuesday night, but police said they believe it happened as the 2006 BMW carrying the teenagers was driving south on Bowling Green Drive.
It may have failed to stop at a stop sign and struck a Chevrolet Cobalt that was westbound on Salisbury Road, police said.
Dozens of onlookers gathered at the intersection Tuesday night to observe the damage: two badly damaged cars about 100 feet apart and mangled, their debris littering the street.
On impact, police said, the BMW tumbled several times, struck the utility pole and came to rest after it hit a tree. The Cobalt was knocked out of the street and onto a front lawn.
"We heard like a big bang like an explosion," said Dennis Greene, an area resident. "I ran out there. It was dark. You couldn't see."
He said the crash appeared to knock out the power on the street.
Greene said he got a flashlight and found one teenager lying on a snowbank and two others trapped inside the BMW. He said the intersection where the crash occurred has long been considered dangerous.
"There's a problem with this corner all the time," Greene said. "We're trying to get stop signs both ways."
With Zachary R. Dowdy,
Paul LaRocco, Bill Mason
and Ridgely Ochs