A decision on whether to cite a trucker who witnesses said drove his big rig through a Bethpage red light, causing a collision that killed a mother and her daughter, won't be made until the crash reconstruction is completed, police said yesterday.
The crash during evening rush hour involved five vehicles, police said.
The truck driver, Ryan Draper, 32, of Lowville, N.Y., which is just east of Lake Ontario, wasn't ticketed but was given a citation for improperly keeping his log book, police said. Draper was unhurt. Witnesses told police that Draper drove through a red light.
He passed an alcohol breath test, police said. An investigation by the Nassau Police homicide squad is continuing, including the pending results of a blood test and the reconstruction, said Det. Lt. John Azzata.
The intersection is just north of where North Wantagh Avenue feeds into Hicksville Road and south of the old Grumman plant.
Hicksville Road has long served as a major thoroughfare, connecting Hempstead Turnpike in the south and Old Country Road and South Oyster Bay Road in the north. Drivers often exceed the speed limit and disregard traffic commands, neighbors and business owners said.
"It's a high-traffic area with a lot of people who don't obey the traffic signals," said Russ Taylor, who lives on nearby Harrison Street. He said he was at an auto repair shop Wednesday night when he heard "this loud boom."
Kiki Verma, who owns a beauty spa at the southeast corner of the intersection, said she was on the phone with her son and looked up to see a truck pushing cars through the intersection, smoke coming from the truck's front end.
"My heart was sinking," she said. "I was thinking, 'Oh, my God. No.' " Her son yelled over the phone: "Mom, what was that sound?"
Draper couldn't be reached for comment, and the owner of the tractor-trailer, Watertown-based California Fruit Markets Inc., did not return a phone call.
With Gary Dymski and John Valenti