A man who stopped to inspect damage to his car after hitting the center median of the LIE in Jericho was killed after he was struck early Thursday by a drunken driver, then hit and dragged by a second vehicle, police said.
Police charged Bonifacio Enriquez, 34, of College Point, Queens, with driving while intoxicated, second-degree manslaughter and second-degree vehicular manslaughter.
The Long Island Expressway’s eastbound lanes between Exits 40 and 42 were closed for more than six hours — slowing the morning commute to a crawl — as authorities investigated the crash.
Police said the victim, driving a Toyota Camry, struck the concrete median at about 2 a.m. while heading east in the high occupancy vehicle lane just west of Exit 41.
He was outside the sedan in the HOV lane, attempting to tie up a damaged front bumper, when he and the Camry were struck by Enriquez’s Ford sport-utility vehicle, said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, commanding officer of Nassau’s Public Information Office.
The victim was pushed into the roadway, where he was hit by a Nissan Altima and dragged about a half-mile, LeBrun said.
Police did not release the victim’s name, but relatives identified him as Rooh Ul Ameen, 43, of Bay Shore, a father of four young children who was returning from his job as an Uber driver in Manhattan.
“It just rips our heart,” Ameen’s brother Shafqat Khan, 52, said through tears at the Masjid Dural Quran mosque in Bay Shore, where his brother’s body lay Thursday night.
Khan, also an Uber driver, said he was driving home ahead of Ameen at the time of the crash and wasn’t aware of what happened until police came to his door hours later.
He intends to bring his brother’s 6-month-old daughter to the alleged drunken driver’s arraignment. “I’m going to say ‘Look at this small baby. This baby has no father. Why did you do that? If you want to kill, you should have killed our whole family, so we don’t suffer.’ It’s too much pain.”
Khan and Ameen, Pakistani immigrants, together bought their Bay Shore home a few years ago and moved in with their wives and children, the family said.
Khan said his brother’s three daughters and son do not know what happened yet.
“I don’t want to tell them. I’m just telling them their father is at work and he’s going to come back. They’re going to ask questions, and I don’t have any answers. Nobody has answers.
“I asked my nephew, ‘Where is your papa?’ ” the brother recalled. “He said, ‘He’s still working. He’s going to come home and bring me some candies.’ ”
As he talked of his brother’s children, Khan sobbed: “He’s never going to bring candies.”
One of Ameen’s best friends, Muhammad Usman, 33, of Brooklyn, said the crash killed the “backbone” of the family. Just last week, Usman said he and the brothers talked about starting a business — a gas station.
Enriquez was taken to a hospital and will be arraigned when medically possible, police said. His injuries were not disclosed.
The driver of the Nissan, who remained at the scene, has not been charged.
The crash scene was reopened to traffic at about 8:15 a.m., according to police and the state Department of Transportation.