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Brittany Vella, Sarwan NN identified as drivers killed in wrong-way crash on Northern State Parkway, police say

A head-on crash involving a wrong-way driver killed

A head-on crash involving a wrong-way driver killed two people early Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 in Dix Hills, closing the Northern State Parkway in both directions during the morning commute, Suffolk County police said. Credit: Steve Silverman

Suffolk police Thursday identified the victims of the wrong-way, head-on crash on the Northern State Parkway during a police pursuit.

Brittany Vella, 25, of Middle Island, and Sarwan NN, 60, of Smithtown, were killed in Tuesday's crash in Dix Hills, police said.

Vella fled an early-morning traffic stop, entered the parkway in the wrong direction and then slammed into an oncoming car driven by NN, killing both of them, police said.

The chase began, police said, when an officer from the Third Precinct pulled over Vella in a 7-Eleven parking lot at 1074 Motor Pkwy. in Central Islip because the license plates on her Dodge Durango did not match the registered vehicle.

"During the officer's investigation, he was also attempting to determine if the vehicle's female operator was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs," police said in a statement.

The driver then fled in the vehicle going 5 miles west on Motor Parkway onto Vanderbilt Parkway and entering the Northern State at Commack Road, heading west in the eastbound lanes, police said.

Vella hit an eastbound 2011 Honda Accord about 2:40 a.m. between Route 231 and Wolf Hill Road, killing NN and herself, police said.

"Subsequent to the crash, the Dodge Durango became engulfed in the flames," the police statement said. "In an effort to save the woman from the burning vehicle, the police officer used fire extinguishers from his marked police vehicle in an unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the flames."

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. There were no passengers in either vehicle.


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