Two people were killed Monday when a car and a landscaping truck crashed head-on along a busy East Meadow road, police and witnesses said.
"I just heard the impact," said deli owner Nieves Maldonado, who ran outside and saw two men inside the car. The driver seemed badly injured, he said, and neither the driver nor the passenger appeared to be conscious.
"I wanted to help them," said Maldonado, 55, of Carle Place. "I said, 'God, please save the lives of these guys.' "
Nassau police said the crash occurred about 1:54 p.m. It shut down North Jerusalem Road at Roxboro Court for several hours.
Identities of the victims were not released by police.
Jose Canas, owner of J. Canas Landscaping in Westbury, said three of his employees were involved in the crash with one of his trucks. They all survived, he said, and were treated for minor injuries, mostly bruises, at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.
He identified the driver as Anthony Martinez of Westbury.
"They're all OK," Canas said. "I'm glad they're OK."
Canas, who said he has owned the landscaping business for three years, said Martinez told him the driver of another vehicle hit the landscapers' truck head-on.
"The driver went across the yellow line and they got collision head-on," Canas said.
Police have not provided details of the accident.
Maldonado, owner of All Nationalities Deli, was cooking a meal for a customer when he heard the crash. When he got outside, he said he saw the car was too badly damaged for him to intervene. He said he called 911 and the rescue personnel arrived quickly.
Diane De Alba, who lives about a block from the crash site, was going shopping about 2 p.m. and saw the wreckage and the police response.
"The car was all smashed in, really bad," said De Alba of East Meadow, who directed traffic that was diverted down her street for about an hour. "I figured at least one person died. It's sad."
After police cleared the scene and traffic again began flowing, deli owner Maldonado took a small bottle of holy water from under his counter and went outside to the crash site.
He sprinkled the water on the pavement in the shape of two crosses.
"I prayed for them," he said. "I have four daughters. I didn't know them [the victims]. They're people, like me. God bless them."