A late-night crash on Sunrise Highway, resulting from a car that became stranded in the middle lane, led to a second, chain-reaction crash involving at least four cars less than 20 minutes later, police said.
Five people sustained minor injuries in the crashes, police said.
The first accident occurred when a female driver crashed into a car that had broken down and been abandoned in the middle of the eastbound roadway near Exit 43, Fifth Avenue, in Bay Shore at 10:50 p.m. Thursday, Suffolk County police said.
The chain-reaction crash occurred at 11:07 p.m., when, police said, a series of cars smashed into each other trying to avoid vehicles stopped because of the first accident.
Those crashes occurred on the eastbound roadway about a half-mile west of the first accident scene, police said.
Police said the situation was set in motion when a car broke down and became disabled in the middle lane. The female driver told police she abandoned the car, leaving it in the middle of the roadway, and had started to walk to a nearby gas station when a second driver crashed into the back of her car.
That driver, identified only as a female, was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip -- where she was treated for minor injuries, police said.
There were no passengers in either vehicle.
While responders closed the road to clean up debris at the accident scene, police said traffic came to a standstill -- and that led to the chain-reaction crash. That incident began, police said, when one approaching vehicle swerved to avoid a stopped car and a following vehicle crashed into that stopped car.
The car that hit the stopped car then careened onto the shoulder, smashing into the vehicle that initially had managed to avoid striking the stopped car and, police said, a fourth vehicle then crashed into the stopped car, as well.
Two of the drivers were females with no passengers; there also were two male drivers, and one of them had a female passenger, police said.
Three people were taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with minor injuries, while another person was transported to Good Samaritan -- also with minor injuries.
There were no charges filed in any of the crashes.