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Truck driver dies from burns suffered in LIE crash

Firefighters respond to an overturned truck that burst

Firefighters respond to an overturned truck that burst into flames on the eastbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway just before 5 a.m. on Nov. 5, 2009. Credit: Paul Mazza

The tractor-trailer driver in last week's fiery accident that shut down the Long Island Expressway has died of severe burns, according to the hospital where he was being treated.

Richard Forenza, 40, of Westbury died Monday at 9:30 p.m. of severe burns he suffered in the crash that clogged commutes for much of Thursday, authorities said Tuesday.

His family could not be reached for comment immediately.

>>VIDEO: Click here to see footage from the accident

A section of the eastbound Long Island Expressway in the Syosset area was closed for more than 12 hours Thursday after his tractor-trailer overturned.

The accident began at 4:45 a.m. in the eastbound lanes when a sport utility vehicle cut in front of the tractor-trailer, causing it to lose control and overturn, police said. It then struck the SUV.

The road was shut down in both directions around exits 42 and 43 before the road was partially reopened to traffic hours later, police said.

Forenza, 40, had been hospitalized at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow with serious burns.

The SUV driver, Mark Ndreca, 33, of the Bronx, also was treated at the Nassau hospital and released.

Police did not issue summonses, calling the crash an accident.

"There's no criminality," said police spokesman Det. Sgt. Tony Repalone. "It's just a horrible accident."

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