An East Islip man was seriously injured Monday morning in a two-vehicle crash on the eastbound Long Island Expressway, Suffolk County police and Melville Fire Department officials said.
The crash occurred around 10:40 a.m. just west of Exit 50 at Bagatelle Road in Melville as a van crashed into the back of a box truck, said David Kaplan, first assistant chief of the fire department. A Suffolk police helicopter landed on the highway to transport the victim.
Jeffrey Browne, 30, of East Islip, was driving a black 2018 Ford van eastbound on the Long Island Expressway, when the vehicle struck the rear of a 2007 Freightliner box truck stopped in traffic in the eastbound lane, a police release said.
Browne was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious but not life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the truck, Roberto Delgado-Aaraujo, 48, of Newark, was not injured.
The van was badly damaged on the front end, trapping the driver inside, Kaplan said. It took Melville Fire Department officials, along with members of the Suffolk Police Emergency Services nearly 50 minutes to extricate Browne, who suffered serious injuries to his lower extremities, Kaplan said.
"That's one of the most prolonged extrications of my career and we do this nearly every day," Kaplan said.
The Suffolk County police helicopter landed on the highway and took the driver to Stony Brook University Hospital, Kaplan said. The driver of the box truck was not injured and there were no other occupants of the two vehicles, he said.
The crash had forced the temporary closure of all eastbound lanes of the LIE at Exit 49 at Walt Whitman Road.
Police said the investigation is ongoing.