Driver faces charges in Wantagh parkway crash

Four people were injured, at least one seriously, when a car ran off the road and into a stand of trees along the northbound Wantagh State Parkway near Merrick Road in Wantagh, on July 2, 2014, police said. The driver was arrested on charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. (Credit: Jim Staubitser)

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Four people were injured, at least one seriously, when a car ran off the road and into a stand of trees along the northbound Wantagh State Parkway early Wednesday near Merrick Road in Wantagh, police said.

The driver, identified by State Police as Dwayne Alcala, 28, of Bay Shore, was arrested on charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

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He was also cited for five driving-related infractions, including failure to stay in a single lane and driving without insurance, online court records show.

Alcala failed to make a turn and drove onto the right shoulder of the parkway, then hit several trees about 1:30 a.m. near Merrick Road, police said.

He was in stable condition Wednesday at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, while one of his passengers was in critical condition in the intensive care unit, a hospital official said.

State Police said two other passengers were also transported to the hospital. Their conditions were not available Wednesday.

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Alcala was arraigned in his hospital room and bail was set at $100,000. He was represented by Legal Aid, which does not comment on cases.

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