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Cops: Teen charged with DWI in fatal Central Islip crash

Friends gather at the scene of a car

Friends gather at the scene of a car crash that killed two people early Thursday morning in Central Islip. (Jan. 28, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

A night of drinking turned into an early morning tragedy Thursday when a Centereach teenager dropping off friends lost control of her car in Central Islip and crashed into two pine trees, killing two passengers and injuring herself and two others, Suffolk police said.

PHOTOS: 2 die in Central Islip crash

VIDEO: Click here to see footage from the fatal car crash

Police arrested Taylor Nolte, 19, of 18 Unity Dr. in Centereach, and charged her with driving while intoxicated. She was in Southside Hospital in Bay Shore being treated for non-life-threatening injuries from the crash. She will be arraigned on the DWI charge at First District Court in Central Islip when she is released.

Kenyen Gaskins, 23, of Central Islip, was pronounced dead at the scene on Wilson Boulevard, between Apple and Banana streets; Kelly Mallazzo, 18, of Hauppauge, was pronounced dead at Southside shortly after the 4:45 a.m. crash, said Det. Sgt. William Rand of the Third Squad detectives.

Two other male passengers whom police declined to identify were treated for serious internal injuries at Southside.

The victims' relatives could not be reached for comment.

Nolte was just about to drop Gaskins off at his home after the group had finished a night of drinking that had begun about 11 p.m., Rand said."The force of the crash completely shears the tree off its base," said Rand, adding that the car, a 1997 Lexus LX400, continued another 20 to 30 feet and struck another tree.

"She was traveling at a high rate of speed," Rand said. He said the car left skid marks that were up to 200 feet long.

What was left of the car was impounded for safety checks, police said. Officials urge anyone with information about the crash to call the Third Squad detectives at 631-854-8354 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

More than a dozen friends of Mallazzo gathered last night at the home of Jessica Velazquez in Central Islip to help create a photo montage in memory of the young woman whose life, they said, was only beginning.

"She was a really caring, shy person," said Velazquez, 22, who had known Mallazzo since they were children.

Mallazzo was working full-time at Arbors Nursing Home in Hauppauge as a food server until her hours were shortened recently, Velazquez said. She said Mallazzo aspired to enter the health field and maybe even become a registered nurse. Velazquez said Mallazzo and Nolte attended the same elementary school until Nolte moved to Centereach. Mallazzo and Nolte recently reconnected, according to Velazquez.

The night of the crash, Erica Velazquez, 18, of Glendale, Ariz., was exchanging text message with Mallazzo. The last text message Mallazzo sent was at about 2:30 a.m., said Erica Velazquez.

Family members at the Wilson Boulevard home of Kenyen Gaskins declined to comment. A neighbor recalled seeing Gaskins escorting his little sister to the school bus every morning.

With Chau Lam, Bill Mason and John Valenti

PHOTOS: 2 die in Central Islip crash

VIDEO: 2 die in Central Islip crash

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