52° Good Afternoon
52° Good Afternoon
Long IslandSuffolk

2 dead after SUV hits building in West Babylon, cops say

Two men died in a single-vehicle crash early Saturday morning, April 22. 2017, when their sport utility vehicle struck a traffic signal pole and a utility pole and then slammed into a building in West Babylon, Suffolk County police said.   Credit: Paul Mazza / Jumping Jack's Stereo

Two men died in a single-vehicle crash Saturday morning when their sport utility vehicle struck a pair of poles and a building in West Babylon, Suffolk County police said.

Jose Edgardo Diaz, 23, of Brentwood, was driving a 2003 Ford Explorer south on Little East Neck Road at Park Avenue when it went out of control around 1:30 a.m., police said.

Diaz and his passenger, Brian Zatkowski, 53, of West Babylon, were both taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where they were pronounced dead, police added.

A video of the crash taken by surveillance cameras at Jumping Jack’s Stereo, across the street from the scene, shows the SUV coming around a bend on Little East Neck Road and smashing into a traffic-signal pole at Park Avenue.

Several flashes of light and sparks follow the impact, and parts of the vehicle fly in all directions. The SUV is seen coming to rest between Hansen Chiropractic and a wooden, two-story house that contains apartments.

Abdul Khan, 57, who lives in a second-floor apartment above the crash scene, said he was in his car in a parking lot behind an adjacent building, preparing to pick up his son-in-law from work, when he heard the collision.

Khan said his daughter, 29, was taking out the trash at the side of the house when she saw the SUV “speed by,” followed by a loud crash moments later.

“She started running to me, trembling,” Khan said. He said his daughter then called 911.

At the Hansen Chiropractic building, windows were shattered by the impact.

“There were parts in the building — the amplifier from the stereo, the door handle of the truck,” said A.J. Sweeney, who owns that building and an adjacent two-story wooden house that appeared to be unscathed.

Maria Alvarado, 41, who lives in an apartment on the first floor of the house next to the chiropractor’s office, said she was jarred awake by what “sounded like a train ran into a building.”

At Zatkowski’s home in West Babylon, tearful family members declined to comment Saturday evening. Diaz’s family could not be reached.

With Khristopher J. Brooks and Steve Pfost


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News