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Long IslandSuffolk

Cops: DWI charge in Bohemia crash; passenger 'grave'

Two cars collided on Veterans Memorial Highway at

Two cars collided on Veterans Memorial Highway at Johnson Avenue in Bohemia just before 6 a.m. Sunday. (Oct. 3, 2010) Photo Credit: James Carbone

A car driven by a man taking his daughter and her boyfriend to the airport for a trip to Disney World was rear-ended by a driver who was drunk and driving without a license early Sunday, leaving the boyfriend in grave condition, Suffolk police said.

Police said the driver fled the scene in Bohemia and a detective later discovered him trying to hide behind a utility pole.

Alan Collins, 57, of Centereach was driving his daughter Stephanie Collins, 24, and her boyfriend, Kevin Mead, 26, of Patchogue, to Long Island MacArthur Airport about 5:50 a.m. Their 2010 Mazda was stopped at a red light in the left turn lane on Veterans Memorial Highway at Johnson Avenue, police said, when it was hit from behind by a 2007 Nissan driven by Robert Watson, 24, of Nesconset.

Both cars were mangled from the crash, and Watson got out of the car and ran away, said Det. Sgt. Alan Feinstein of the Fifth Squad.

Collins and his daughter were taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue and treated for shock. Mead, who was sitting in the backseat, suffered severe head and chest trauma and was listed in grave condition at the same hospital, Feinstein said.

Feinstein said police searched for Watson for about an hour and a half without success. Shortly after 8 a.m., Det. Robert Suppa, who continued the search, saw Watson trying to hide behind a utility pole at Johnson Avenue and Carlough Road, police said.

Watson was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He was being held for arraignment Monday.

Police took blood from Watson and results are pending. Both cars were impounded for safety checks and the investigation. Police ask anyone who saw the crash contact the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

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