The young political aide killed with five others in a Sunday crash on the LIE, may have saved the life of his fiancee when he veered his car as an airborne SUV hurtled toward them, said his boss, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Scott Martella’s fiancee, Shelbi Thurau told Bellone that Martella, 29, was driving the pair home to Northport from a weekend in Greenport when the speeding eastbound Subaru Outback lost control, crossed the median and launched in the air before crushing Martella’s car. She escaped with few injuries, Bellone said.
“Scott . . . turned the vehicle,” he said Monday. “It’s probably what made the difference.”
Bellone said Thurau told him the couple “could see it coming and it seemed like it took forever” before hitting the top of Martella’s car, crushing him.
“It’s such an awful experience, I can’t imagine,” Bellone said, adding that the couple had dated since they were 14 in high school. “Such a wonderful person. He is. She is.”
A police spokeswoman would not confirm Bellone’s account, citing the ongoing investigation.
Martella came to work for Bellone in June. He previously worked as an aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Monday morning outside an unrelated Manhattan event, Cuomo remembered Martella as a “really, really beautiful, beautiful young man. He just loved public service. He loved helping people.”
Bellone said he expects the crash will spur a look at the safety of the median and whether improvements are needed to prevent another deadly collision.
“It’s a tough day for all of us here. There’s been a lot of tears,” he said. “From the outpouring we’ve received since this happened, it’s clear how many lives he touched.”
Helen and Isidore Adelson also lost their lives in the crash. They were in a 2016 BMW, heading to a wedding in New Jersey with friends from their Westhampton Beach synagogue when they collided with the SUV, family and friends said Monday.
Isidore Adelson, 81, died of his injuries Sunday night at Stony Brook University Hospital. Helen Adelson,71, died there Monday, hospital officials said.
Rabbi Marc Schneier, of The Hampton Synagogue, where the Adelsons were longtime congregants, said they were going to a congregant’s wedding, accompanied by Marvin Tenzer, 73, the driver of the BMW, and his wife, Sandra Tenzer, 69.
Isidore Adelson for years hosted breakfast at the synagogue, Schneier said.
“He often had more than 200 people,” Schneier said of the breakfasts. “He cooked good food, he catered.”
A retired widow and widower, Helen and Isidore Adelson, married in 1981, and recently celebrated their 35th anniversary. She had been a dental hygienist and he was a truant officer for the New York City public school system.
Isidore Adelson grew up in Brooklyn, his formative years having a lasting impact, even after he and his wife settled in Roslyn, said his niece, Michele Levin, of Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was affectionately nicknamed “Itchy,” she said.
About 23 years ago, they moved out to Westhampton and in the last five or so years, they spent about half the year in Boca Raton, Florida, Levin said.
“They were a great couple,” she said. “They made you feel so at home and welcomed in their home. Full of love. Then they found the Hamptons and they just had a great time out there.”
Helen Adelson, also an artist, in recent years had sold her work — pottery, needlework and beaded jewelry — at art festivals in the Hamptons, Levin said.
Levin and her brother were planning a visit to the Adelsons’ home this weekend, she said.
“He was so New York,” she said. “His personality, being so outgoing and he would say anything. His manners were very classic, old school Brooklyn. . . . He was just all New York.”
The Adelsons each had two daughters from their first marriages, and seven grandchildren, Levin said.
The rabbi said he has been offering comfort to the Adelsons’ family and had also met with Tenzers, who both “miraculously survived.”
“They’re stable,” he said. “They suffered some broken bones, badly bruised. But they are on the road to recovery and our prayers are with them at this very difficult time in their lives.”
A funeral service for Martella will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. at I.J. Morris Funeral Home in Dix Hills, followed by a committal service at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale.
A funeral service for the Adelsons will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at The Hampton Synagogue, 154 Sunset Ave., Westhampton Beach.
With Emily Ngo