A man and two of his children were killed in a car crash Sunday in East Massapequa. NewsdayTV's Steve Langford speaks to a family member.  Credit: Kendall Rodriguez; Paul Mazza

This story was reported by Robert Brodsky, Matthew Chayes, Arielle Martinez, Lorena Mongelli and Nicholas Spangler. It was written by Brodsky.

A shattered Uniondale family is still trying to process the "shocking" Sunday night crash in East Massapequa that claimed a father and two of his children while seriously injuring three other passengers, including his son, stepdaughter and granddaughter, according to family, neighbors and friends.

The crash on Sunrise Highway killed Patrice Huntley, 60, of Flushing, and his children Jeremiah, 10, and Hannah, 13, of Uniondale, Nassau police said.

The family had been at a water park all day and were going out for ice cream to celebrate Huntley's new job, Huntley's girlfriend, Lashea Fraser, 46, of Harlem, said.

"It was kids day. It was family day," she said. "He took all of them there just to all run around, play, get wet, cause it was warm that day."

They were stopped at a red light when they were rear-ended by the driver of a 2023 Hyundai Kona being driven at a high rate of speed, according to police. 

Among those injured in Huntley’s vehicle were his 18-year-old stepdaughter, 14-year-old son and 6-year-old granddaughter Chantel, police and family members said.

Tasheba Hamilton-Huntley, the mother of four of the children, said her granddaughter sustained some of the most serious injuries because of her size and age.

“Chantel’s injuries are life threatening and we were told she might not make it," she said.

Hamilton-Huntley said a passersby rescued her 14-year-old son, David, from the violent impact by cutting the air bags from him, sparing him from serious injury or death.

"He said he was sitting in the passenger seat and a car zoomed passed him and he said his dad turned around and he said, his dad just said, 'Oh my God.' And the next thing you know they were impacted by [another] vehicle that flipped on top of their vehicle and crushed them from the top," she said.

The grieving mother stressed that whatever it takes, she wants whoever was  responsible for the crash arrested. Hamilton-Huntley said detectives told her the vehicles were racing at 100 mph.

“I really want the guys who did this to get caught," Hamilton-Huntley said.

Police have not released the name of the driver that hit the Huntley vehicle, but identified him as a 32-year-old man from Lindenhurst. Police said Monday he was in stable condition at a hospital with a fractured ankle and multiple internal injuries. On Tuesday, police said there was no update on the driver's condition. He has not been charged.

Police would not confirm whether the vehicles were racing or how fast the vehicle that hit the Huntley's was going.

In Uniondale, Tauris McBride, 48, the fiance of Hamilton-Huntley, the mother of four of the children, said the family is devastated.

“You had a man taking his children out to celebrate the fact that he got a promotion at work," McBride said outside his Uniondale home. " … Two of the children died; two of the children have long-term injuries. Multiple broken bones; multiple surgeries they’re undergoing right now. [Hamilton-Huntley] recently buried her mother and father and now has to deal with this, so we’re hoping we can have some privacy and just try to process this whole situation because it’s shocking. It’s like dream right now. It’s literally like a dream right now.”

The 18-year-old, who McBride identified as Hamilton-Huntley's daughter Brienna, is undergoing multiple surgeries for a broken femur and has back injuries and massive blood loss, McBride said. The granddaughter, Chantel, had both of her arms and legs broken and has pressure on her brain, he said. 

"It’s a terrible situation," McBride said, adding that the family is trying to begin the "healing process."

Hamilton-Huntley's  son David, who was also in the car and had nonlife-threatening back and rib injuries, is “physically OK,” but is trying to cope with the loss of his loved ones, McBride said.

A GoFundMe, set up to support the family, said Jeremiah was known as JJ and loved to play video games and run around with his dogs. Hannah, the website said, loved drawing and cuddling with the pets.

Fraser said Huntley was working at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, helping veterans find employment.

Fraser said Huntley "lived for his kids. That was his heart."

"I'm hurting, and everyone's hurting."

Leon Bradley, a next-door neighbor in Uniondale, said he was saddened to hear news of the crash.

"They're very nice neighbors," Bradley said, adding that more should be done to crack down on reckless driving. "What happened is tragic … They're very well-mannered children and would be playing in the yard. And to not have that anymore; to have that taken away from you because of someone choosing to drive that fast is just unimaginable."

The crash capped a deadly 24 hours on Long Island roadways in which six people were killed in total.

At least 234 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Nassau and Suffolk last year, including 11 children under the age of 18, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Research and Management. This is the largest number of total motor vehicle fatalities in the region since 2015, when there were 262 fatalities, including 12 children.

A total of 54 people died in crashes on the Sunrise Highway section of State Route 27 between 2017 and 2021, the latest year for which road-specific fatality numbers are available, according to data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System database.

The Huntleys were in a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe that was struck by a driver who was speeding and whose vehicle overturned in the collision, Massapequa Fire Department Third Assistant Chief Conor McCaffrey has said.

The crash sent Huntley’s vehicle into a Chevrolet Malibu driven by an 83-year-old man from Long Beach. The Kona flipped onto those vehicles and then onto a fourth vehicle, a 2016 Hyundai Elantra operated by a 33-year-old Massapequa man, the police said.

Hannah was pronounced dead at the scene while Jeremiah was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Malibu driver was hospitalized in stable condition. The Elantra driver declined medical attention.


McBride said he hopes that the driver is charged.

“I’m hoping there are charges for the driver," he said, "but that’s not really going to bring our children back.”

Patrice Huntley was an armed forces veteran who worked to help other vets find civilian jobs, said former colleagues at the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, a Patchogue-based nonprofit where he'd worked from 2014 to 2016. 

“He was dedicated to a mission of helping individuals less fortunate than him,” said Chief Executive Adrian Fassett, adding that Huntley helped veterans who were unhoused or at risk of losing their housing. 

When he left after finding a job that paid better but was also in the social services field, “we were happy for him,” Fassett said. 

Colleague Patrenna Cuttino, a case manager in the veterans program who talked to Huntley only a week ago, said he was a Marine who’d kept ties with EOC even after leaving, sometimes calling with job tips for the organization’s clients. 

In their last talk, she said, “He was happy … He was improving his lifestyle, losing weight, starting a new relationship” and a new job. Like always, she said, he’d talked about his children and grandchildren."

When news of Huntley’s death spread around the office, she said the mood was one of “devastation.”

Annette Walsh, 63, of Flushing, said Huntley, her neighbor, would often carry her groceries.

"His children and grandchildren were just beautiful. You look at all the sadness in the world and he brought beautiful light and now he’s gone," she said.

A shattered Uniondale family is still trying to process the "shocking" Sunday night crash in East Massapequa that claimed a father and two of his children while seriously injuring three other passengers, including his son, stepdaughter and granddaughter, according to family, neighbors and friends.

The crash on Sunrise Highway killed Patrice Huntley, 60, of Flushing, and his children Jeremiah, 10, and Hannah, 13, of Uniondale, Nassau police said.

The family had been at a water park all day and were going out for ice cream to celebrate Huntley's new job, Huntley's girlfriend, Lashea Fraser, 46, of Harlem, said.

"It was kids day. It was family day," she said. "He took all of them there just to all run around, play, get wet, cause it was warm that day."

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A shattered Uniondale family is still trying to cope with the Sunday night crash in East Massapequa that claimed a father and two of his children while seriously injuring three other family members.
  • Among those injured are a 6-year-old girl, who has life-threatening injuries.
  • The father who was killed, Patrice Huntley was an armed forces veteran who worked to help other vets find civilian jobs, said former colleagues. 

They were stopped at a red light when they were rear-ended by the driver of a 2023 Hyundai Kona being driven at a high rate of speed, according to police. 

Among those injured in Huntley’s vehicle were his 18-year-old stepdaughter, 14-year-old son and 6-year-old granddaughter Chantel, police and family members said.

Tasheba Hamilton-Huntley, the mother of four of the children, said her granddaughter sustained some of the most serious injuries because of her size and age.

“Chantel’s injuries are life threatening and we were told she might not make it," she said.

Hamilton-Huntley said a passersby rescued her 14-year-old son, David, from the violent impact by cutting the air bags from him, sparing him from serious injury or death.

"He said he was sitting in the passenger seat and a car zoomed passed him and he said his dad turned around and he said, his dad just said, 'Oh my God.' And the next thing you know they were impacted by [another] vehicle that flipped on top of their vehicle and crushed them from the top," she said.

Tasheba Hamilton-Huntley, mother of East Massapequa crash victims Jeremiah, 10,...

Tasheba Hamilton-Huntley, mother of East Massapequa crash victims Jeremiah, 10, and Hannah, 13. Credit: Huntley family

The grieving mother stressed that whatever it takes, she wants whoever was  responsible for the crash arrested. Hamilton-Huntley said detectives told her the vehicles were racing at 100 mph.

“I really want the guys who did this to get caught," Hamilton-Huntley said.

Police have not released the name of the driver that hit the Huntley vehicle, but identified him as a 32-year-old man from Lindenhurst. Police said Monday he was in stable condition at a hospital with a fractured ankle and multiple internal injuries. On Tuesday, police said there was no update on the driver's condition. He has not been charged.

Police would not confirm whether the vehicles were racing or how fast the vehicle that hit the Huntley's was going.

'A terrible situation'

In Uniondale, Tauris McBride, 48, the fiance of Hamilton-Huntley, the mother of four of the children, said the family is devastated.

“You had a man taking his children out to celebrate the fact that he got a promotion at work," McBride said outside his Uniondale home. " … Two of the children died; two of the children have long-term injuries. Multiple broken bones; multiple surgeries they’re undergoing right now. [Hamilton-Huntley] recently buried her mother and father and now has to deal with this, so we’re hoping we can have some privacy and just try to process this whole situation because it’s shocking. It’s like dream right now. It’s literally like a dream right now.”

Tauris McBride reflects on the loss of his family members...

Tauris McBride reflects on the loss of his family members in a fatal car crash in East Massapequa. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

The 18-year-old, who McBride identified as Hamilton-Huntley's daughter Brienna, is undergoing multiple surgeries for a broken femur and has back injuries and massive blood loss, McBride said. The granddaughter, Chantel, had both of her arms and legs broken and has pressure on her brain, he said. 

"It’s a terrible situation," McBride said, adding that the family is trying to begin the "healing process."

Hamilton-Huntley's  son David, who was also in the car and had nonlife-threatening back and rib injuries, is “physically OK,” but is trying to cope with the loss of his loved ones, McBride said.

Emergency responders at the scene of the fatal multivehicle crash...

Emergency responders at the scene of the fatal multivehicle crash in East Massapequa on Sunday. Credit: Paul Mazza

A GoFundMe, set up to support the family, said Jeremiah was known as JJ and loved to play video games and run around with his dogs. Hannah, the website said, loved drawing and cuddling with the pets.

Fraser said Huntley was working at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, helping veterans find employment.

Fraser said Huntley "lived for his kids. That was his heart."

"I'm hurting, and everyone's hurting."

Leon Bradley, a next-door neighbor in Uniondale, said he was saddened to hear news of the crash.

"They're very nice neighbors," Bradley said, adding that more should be done to crack down on reckless driving. "What happened is tragic … They're very well-mannered children and would be playing in the yard. And to not have that anymore; to have that taken away from you because of someone choosing to drive that fast is just unimaginable."

Sunrise Highway toll: 54 dead in 5 years 

The crash capped a deadly 24 hours on Long Island roadways in which six people were killed in total.

At least 234 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Nassau and Suffolk last year, including 11 children under the age of 18, according to preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Safety Research and Management. This is the largest number of total motor vehicle fatalities in the region since 2015, when there were 262 fatalities, including 12 children.

A total of 54 people died in crashes on the Sunrise Highway section of State Route 27 between 2017 and 2021, the latest year for which road-specific fatality numbers are available, according to data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System database.

The Huntleys were in a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe that was struck by a driver who was speeding and whose vehicle overturned in the collision, Massapequa Fire Department Third Assistant Chief Conor McCaffrey has said.

The crash sent Huntley’s vehicle into a Chevrolet Malibu driven by an 83-year-old man from Long Beach. The Kona flipped onto those vehicles and then onto a fourth vehicle, a 2016 Hyundai Elantra operated by a 33-year-old Massapequa man, the police said.

Hannah was pronounced dead at the scene while Jeremiah was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Malibu driver was hospitalized in stable condition. The Elantra driver declined medical attention.


McBride said he hopes that the driver is charged.

“I’m hoping there are charges for the driver," he said, "but that’s not really going to bring our children back.”

Marine veteran

Patrice Huntley was an armed forces veteran who worked to help other vets find civilian jobs, said former colleagues at the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, a Patchogue-based nonprofit where he'd worked from 2014 to 2016. 

“He was dedicated to a mission of helping individuals less fortunate than him,” said Chief Executive Adrian Fassett, adding that Huntley helped veterans who were unhoused or at risk of losing their housing. 

When he left after finding a job that paid better but was also in the social services field, “we were happy for him,” Fassett said. 

Colleague Patrenna Cuttino, a case manager in the veterans program who talked to Huntley only a week ago, said he was a Marine who’d kept ties with EOC even after leaving, sometimes calling with job tips for the organization’s clients. 

In their last talk, she said, “He was happy … He was improving his lifestyle, losing weight, starting a new relationship” and a new job. Like always, she said, he’d talked about his children and grandchildren."

When news of Huntley’s death spread around the office, she said the mood was one of “devastation.”

Annette Walsh, 63, of Flushing, said Huntley, her neighbor, would often carry her groceries.

"His children and grandchildren were just beautiful. You look at all the sadness in the world and he brought beautiful light and now he’s gone," she said.

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