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Wrong-way driver caught on Merrick couple’s dashboard camera

Steven Buchbinder, of Freeport, said he nearly collided

Steven Buchbinder, of Freeport, said he nearly collided with a wrong-way driver on Wantagh State Parkway on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. He captured the incident on a dashboard camera installed in his car. Credit: Steven Buchbinder

A Merrick couple narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver, an incident they captured on a dashboard camera.

Steven Buchbinder, 51, said he and his wife, Leslie, were heading home from a night out on Friday about 10 p.m. when they saw two bright lights moving toward them on the Wantagh State Parkway.

Buchbinder, who was driving south on the parkway, and a driver to his right both swerved out of the way to avoid striking the car as it barreled past them near Exit W4E, for the Southern State Parkway. Leslie Buchbinder can be heard in the video asking “What was that?” and urging her husband to call 911.

Buchbinder said they called State Police just after the video clip, which he uploaded to YouTube, cuts off.

“It wasn’t until I got home that I realized, hey, I might have gotten this on video,” Buchbinder said. “I plugged it in and there it was, clear as day.”

Buchbinder, who owns a Freeport printing company, said he considers himself a “tech guy” and purchased and installed a Garmin dashboard camera a few months ago. Friday was the first time he had a reason to look at the footage, he said.

The footage came too late to help police find the driver, however. State police spokesman Trooper Frank Bandiero said officers were unable to find the driver by the time they got to the scene. The car’s license plate number isn’t clear in Buchbinder’s video.

Buchbinder said he thought the footage could still help the community, though, which is why he put it online.

“It was really to bring some attention,” he said. “We fear for ourselves. We fear for our children, who are young drivers. I’m a cyclist, I fear for myself.”

Buchbinder said he hopes the footage will inspire other drivers to be more alert on the road and drive more safely.

“We made it home safely and we’re just thankful to still be here,” he said.


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