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One dead, 8 injured in LIE crash, driver charged with DWI, cops say

Authorities are investigating a motor vehicle crash on

Authorities are investigating a motor vehicle crash on the Long Island Expressway in Shirley on Saturday afternoon, police said. The multicar crash happened at about 3:30 p.m. near Exit 68, police said. Credit: T.J. Lambui

One person was killed and eight were injured in a four-vehicle crash on the Long Island Expressway in Shirley Saturday afternoon, police and ambulance officials said.

The crash took place at about 3:30 p.m. near Exit 68 and involved a pickup truck, two minivans and a motorcycle, Suffolk County police said. Both lanes of the LIE were closed for several hours but reopened later Saturday.

The accident began when the driver of the 2004 Ford pickup, Peter Visconti Jr., 37, who was traveling west, crashed into a 2011 Honda minivan going the same direction, police said. The pickup then careened across into eastbound traffic and crashed into a 2013 Toyota minivan and a motorcycle, police said.

A woman who was in the second minivan that was struck was pronounced dead at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Suffolk police said. Seven people from that vehicle were transported to local hospitals, police said.

Visconti Jr., of Mastic, was arrested and charged with driving while ability impared by drugs, aggrivated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, Suffolk police said.

He was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and it was unknown when he would be arraigned.

Two patients required emergency surgery to repair traumatic injuries, said Dr. James Vosswinkel, director of the trauma unit for Stony Brook University Hospital.

“It’s a horrific crash,” said Vosswinkel. “It’s a holiday weekend, people are rushing around and then you get a multicar crash incident on the LIE. Talk about a complete setup for a horrific situation,”

The motorcyclist was also listed in serious condition, police said. All of the others who were injured were expected to survive, Vosswinkel said.

In August 2016, the same stretch of the expressway was the site of a three-car accident that killed five people and injured six others.

That accident began when a car traveling east between Exit 68 and Exit 69 near Manorville apparently lost control, crossed the grass median, shot into the air and crashed into two oncoming westbound vehicles, Newsday reported previously.

Its victims included a Suffolk County political aide, an 81-year-old man and a 10-year-old boy.

— With Jesse Coburn

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