A “tidal wave” of 10 vehicles crashed in a high-speed chain-reaction Tuesday after a sedan went airborne in North Amityville, sending nine people to hospitals, Suffolk police said.
An out-of-control Lexus carved a path between two lanes of southbound traffic on Route 110, careening into vehicles stopped at the Bentley Road light at 12:05 p.m., police said. Its 76-year-old driver may have suffered a medical event as he “sped up” to the red light, police said.
“The Lexus went flying by probably about 100 mph, and I was thinking he was probably running from the police,” driver Michael Browne of East Meadow said at the scene. “By the time I got to this light, I already saw like a tidal wave up in the air.”
Nine people were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage and Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow with injuries that were not life threatening, police said.
North Amityville Fire Chief Aaron Collins said the Lexus driver sustained a broken nose and that no one has serious injuries, even the ones who had to be cut out of their vehicles.
No arrests were made or summonses issued, police said.
Route 110 was closed in both directions at Francine Avenue until shortly after 3 p.m., police said.
The mass wreckage and debris spread across several lanes, shutting down Route 110 in both directions and leaving witnesses trying to make sense of the wreckage — bent sedans, vehicles with front and back ends smashed, others with bumpers down the road.
Buddy Ficarelli of Massapequa walked away after the Lexus landed on his vehicle.
“He came in speeding and then he just went airborne,” Ficarelli said. “He went over that white Sonata or Hyundai and he came to rest on the back of my car and spun down there.
“It was hard to fathom, it was hard to realize that was a car, rolling through the air. It was shocking, and then I just went to help everybody else kind of get out of their cars,” he said.
Collins said the crash was considered a “mass casualty” incident and four other departments responded with help, including Amityville, Copiague, East Farmingdale and North Lindenhurst.