One woman was killed and five others injured during Wednesday’s nor’easter when the vehicle they were in overturned and crashed on the Wantagh State Parkway due to the weather conditions, police said.
The accident happened around 10 a.m., just as snow accumulation started to pick up on the Wantagh heading south between the Southern State Parkway and Hempstead Turnpike, according to Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
Ryder credited the fast response from county law enforcement, which included a rookie officer, for saving the lives of five other women in the vehicle.
During the rescue, Ryder said, gasoline from a ruptured gas line leaked on the officers, creating an even more dangerous situation. “Their heroic actions no doubt saved those additional occupants of the vehicle,” Ryder said at a news conference in Hicksville.
The victim, whose name has not yet been released, was ejected from the white van, which rolled over on the side of the parkway, Ryder said.
She was pronounced dead at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. It is not clear if she was the driver.
Meanwhile, a second occupant was pinned between the vehicle and partially ejected, Ryder said. She is listed in serious condition at NUMC. Two other women also suffered serious injuries and two more sustained minor injuries, he said. They were all treated at NUMC.
Nassau police spokesman Richard LeBrun was the first officer on the scene and called for assistance. News 12 Long Island employees also appeared on the scene and assisted with the rescue, he said.
Among the first responders was Officer Robert Bright of the First Precinct, who graduated from the police academy three weeks ago.
Bright broke the vehicle’s glass window to “try to get the occupants out,” Ryder said.
“He kicked the glass out himself.”
In total, Nassau police have responded to 62 auto accidents, aided 34 individuals, largely for slip and fall accidents, and have taken more than 500 calls for service during the storm.