The accident occurred at just before 9 a.m., police said. All lanes were open by 3:30 p.m.
According to detectives, a 34-year-old man was travelling eastbound on the LIE at exit 40 in a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder with four passengers when he lost control and struck the center median. The vehicle then spun across the left and center lanes and was struck by a 1997 Ford Explorer driven by a 30-year-old woman, police said.
Three passengers and the driver were taken to area hospitals and the fourth passenger refused medical attention.
The expressway had been closed in the area Wednesday night because of icy conditions, police said. It had been reopened in both directions for the morning rush hour, but there were significant delays through the area -- especially on the westbound side -- due to a buildup of snow and slush.