A police car rear-ended a vehicle and a motorcyclist crashed in two separate accidents that shut down the eastbound Long Island Expressway near the same exit in Hauppauge Wednesday, Suffolk police said.
In the first crash, a Suffolk highway officer in a marked car was in the left lane when he hit the other vehicle just before 4 p.m. by Exit 56, Route 111, police said.
Ten minutes later and about 2,000 feet east of the first accident scene, a Mastic man lost control of his motorcycle and hit the concrete center divider, police said.
Charles Clayton, 56, was seriously injured when he was thrown off his bike and onto the HOV lane shoulder, police said. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was in critical condition Wednesday night, police said. He was expected to survive, police said.
"It appeared a van may have cut him off and he may have oversteered," said Sgt. Peter Scheuerer of the highway division. "He somehow lost control, and he hit the center divider two or three times, and he went down hard. He had a helmet on, but he went face down."
Police said the two crashes were not related.
In the first crash, both drivers were treated for minor injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital, police said.
Speed was not a factor at the time because the accident happened about 4 p.m., during rush hour, and there was no major damage to the vehicles, Scheuerer said.
The LIE reopened at Exit 56 shortly after 7 p.m., police said.
Fourth Precinct detectives said anyone with information about the motorcyclist crash could contact them at 631-854-8452.