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Cops: Driver killed in crash into Montauk Hwy. auto body shop

The driver was killed in a crash into

The driver was killed in a crash into an auto body shop on Montauk Highway in East Moriches on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. Photo Credit: T.J. Lambui

A speeding car slammed into a body shop Sunday night in East Moriches, killing the driver and injuring three passengers, one of them seriously, police said.

Diego Balvuca-Rivera, 30, was driving his 2008 Ford Edge “at a high rate of speed” at about 9:30 p.m. when he smashed into Croce’s Body Shop on Montauk Highway, Suffolk County police said.

Balvuca-Rivera, a Bellport resident, was pronounced dead at the scene and a female passenger was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries, police said.

Two other passengers, both male, were taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.

Images from the scene showed the mangled front end of the car and damage to one side of the auto body shop, near the cutoff to East Main Street.

Donald Croce, 45, owner of the family-run business, said the vehicle smashed through a guardrail along the road, into his body shop, and came to stop in a neighbor’s yard.

“They were heading westbound and they took out the northwest corner of the building,” Croce said.

“The guardrail normally stops them. . . . He had to be flying,” Croce said.

Croce said no one was in the building at the time, and that he was cleaning up before deciding whether he could open for business.

Police asked anyone with information on the crash to call them at 631-852-8752.

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