The four people who died in a four-vehicle crash last week in Ridge have been identified as a Riverhead Town family and a friend, Suffolk police said Wednesday.
Jacquelyn McCoy, 55; her daughter, Mary Alice Booker, 36; her son, Anthony McCoy, 33; and his girlfriend, Tameka Foster, 42, perished in their Mazda when it burst into flames after being struck by a stolen vehicle about 11:20 a.m. Feb. 14 on Route 25, police said.
Jacquelyn McCoy, disabled on the job as a health care aide, left behind eight grandchildren — and she baby-sat five of them daily, said her older sister April McCoy of Southampton.
Booker won’t get to see her daughter graduate from high school this year, McCoy said, and two young children lost both their parents, her nephew Anthony and his partner Foster.
“The most painful part of death is the unexpected death,” said McCoy, a retired hairdresser.
Police said Jamel Turner, 23, of Bellport, was driving a stolen Camaro east on Route 25 when he slammed into McCoy’s eastbound Mazda near Woodlot Road and then into an oncoming oil truck.
The Mazda then hit an eastbound Infiniti and burst into flames, a fire that defeated witnesses’ attempts to save the four occupants inside. McCoy was from Calverton and the three others from Riverhead.
Turner’s passenger, Lonidell Skinner, 19, of Bellport, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. Police had previously identified him.
The oil truck driver was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. The Infiniti driver was not hurt, police said.
April McCoy, who said she had health issues, always thought she’d die before her younger sister, who had to quit work after getting hurt several years ago while lifting a patient.
“I would trade places with her in a heartbeat,” said McCoy, a retired hairdresser. “God knew this was coming. I didn’t. . . . The body is what’s gone but the spirit lives on. I don’t have to feel like my sister is ever gone because she’s always going to be in my heart.”
She said her departed sister helped people and her family without a frown or muttered complaint.
“It’s not like she had a lot of money to give,” McCoy said. “She gave of herself.”
Booker, also in the health care field, had a great singing voice, and nephew Anthony was a good carpenter, their aunt said.
Turner was also injured and taken to a hospital. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday on charges of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and second-degree reckless endangerment.