An oil tanker and seven other vehicles collided in a chain-reaction crash that shut down the eastbound Long Island Expressway in Melville Friday night and sent six people to the hospital, Suffolk County police said.
A minivan skidded to a stop under the oil tanker and got stuck, but its driver, Elizabeth Butler, 45, got out on her own and was later arrested on a drunken driving charge, police said.
Police said the collisions started as traffic slowed for an earlier car fire just east of Exit 49, Route 110.
Two vehicles hit each other just after 10:20 p.m., and that set off the chain collision, police said. The highway patrol responded, and at the scene, the minivan showed front and rear-end damage. A box truck and sedans just ahead of the oil tanker could be seen, along with glass covering the roadway.
Butler of East Meadow was taken to Huntington Hospital to be treated for minor injuries and was expected to be arraigned Saturday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, police said. Five others were taken to area hospitals for minor injuries, authorities said.