A Bellmore native who loved shuttling between Long Island and Florida to visit his father and mother at each end of the 1,000-plus-mile journey was killed when he lost control of the car he was driving and crashed into a Garden City Park home, Nassau police said.
Jonathan Leiz, 28, of Grand Avenue in Bellmore, was pronounced dead shortly after the 2:18 a.m. accident Thursday, and two other men in the car were critically injured. Nassau police say Leiz drove his father's 1997 Infiniti Q45 into the Fifth Avenue home of Annette and Raymond Giudice.
The Giudices were not hurt.
The two passengers - Jose Varraos, 23, of Freeport, and Alden LaRocca, 26, of Mineola, were taken to Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola.
The initial investigation's findings are that Leiz drove the Infiniti at a high rate of speed along Broadway in Garden City Park, ran past a stop sign and swerved into the home. The car came to rest with its front end pointing down into the basement, the car's chassis teetering on the edge, police said.
Nassau police's Department of Emergency Services removed the car with help from the Garden City Park, New Hyde Park and Bethpage fire departments.
Robert Leiz, Jonathan's father, said Leiz lived with him in Leesburg, Fla., near Orlando, for several years, but felt the hot climate was uncomfortable and moved back to Long Island.
"He was planning to come down on the 24th of this month," said Robert Leiz, who has lived in Florida for about seven years. "He liked taking that trip back and forth."
Robert Leiz said his son was handy with tools and making repairs and that he liked to tinker with cars and computers.
During the five years Jonathan Leiz lived in Florida, the pair would make renovations and do maintenance on homes that Robert Leiz owned and rented out.
"He was interested in real estate because that's what we were involved in," Robert Leiz said of Jonathan, who did not have a steady job but received Social Security benefits.
Jonathan Leiz stayed in Florida three weeks at a time, his father said, and then drove back to Long Island, where he lived with his mother in Bellmore.
With John Valenti