Two drivers, one an off-duty New York City police sergeant, died in separate one-car crashes Sunday morning in Nassau County, police said.

The bad news on area roads continued later Sunday, as Nassau police were investigating a violent two-vehicle collision that closed Jericho Turnpike in Syosset.

NYPD Sgt. Anthony Johnson, 32, of West Babylon, died when his 2005 Jeep Cherokee went out of control on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream, crashed into a tree and burst into flames, Nassau police said.

Johnson had been traveling west at 3:08 a.m. just west of Rockaway Avenue when the crash occurred, police said. According to the NYPD, Johnson joined the force in 2002 and worked out of the 114th Precinct in Queens.

Johnson's body was found in the front seat of his Cherokee after firefighters from the Valley Stream Fire Department extinguished the flames, police said. Vivian Minkel, a neighbor of Johnson, said she had known him all his life and called him "T.J." since childhood. She said Johnson lived next door with his mother.

"He was special," Minkel said. "If you ever needed anything, he was there for you. This is tragedy . . . He was a damn good cop, I heard. I heard the precinct is devastated. He just made sergeant about a year ago."

In Hicksville, the driver of a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette died after his car left the southbound lanes of South Oyster Bay Road at 7:40 a.m., crossed over the median and the northbound lanes, crashed through a chain-link fence and came to rest in trees on Nicole Court, police said. The victim was not identified by police. The car was impounded for a safety check, police said.

At 4:51 p.m., a two-vehicle collision closed Jericho Turnpike in both directions between Robbins Lane and Underhill Boulevard. The collision left a Mercedes-Benz with its front end demolished. The other vehicle, a landscaping truck, tipped over, and debris littered the road.

Three hours after the crash, Jericho Turnpike remained closed in both directions and both vehicles were still in the roadway illuminated by floodlights. Investigators continued to gather information at the crash site, directly in front of the Syosset Lanes bowling alley.

Police had no details on any injuries from the crash.

Gershon Allweiss was bowling at the time of the crash. Allweiss said his son, who works at the alley, asked him to retrieve a blank CD. He said the police were going to use the CD to copy a surveillance tape from a bowling alley camera, which may have captured the crash.

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