A string of accidents kept North Babylon firefighters and EMS personnel busy early Sunday, with four separate crashes in a span of two hours — three of them within 100 feet of each other on the Southern State Parkway, officials said.
While there were no serious injuries reported, the first accident for North Babylon officials involved a single-car crash with an entrapment on the eastbound Southern State east of Exit 38, Belmont Lake State Park, at about 2:20 a.m. While firefighters were working that scene, officials said there was a chain-reaction four-car accident just 100 feet to the west.
Shortly afterward officials said a car crashed through the yards of two homes on Prairie Drive on the North Babylon-Deer Park border, about a 1/2 mile from the scene of the prior two accidents. While firefighters were handling the backyard call, a sport utility vehicle slammed into a department engine still at the scene of the second crash on the Southern State — sending the fire truck driver to the hospital.
"It was a hectic night for all the emergency service personnel involved," North Babylon fire spokesman Paul Miller said, adding police took someone into custody at all four of the scenes.
The first incident involved a single vehicle that crashed into a utility pole on the right shoulder of the parkway, officials said.
Miller said that as responders were clearing that scene, the four-vehicle crash occurred west of the accident scene. Two people were evaluated by EMS personnel and refused medical care and one person was taken into custody.
While responders were handling that scene, Assistant Chief Michael Elco said Babylon Central fire alarm received a 911 call reporting a vehicle had crashed into a backyard on Prairie Drive. Some of the firefighters at the parkway scenes left to handle that call. Miller said that in the third accident a vehicle left the roadway on Erlanger Boulevard, then traveled through two backyards before coming to a stop in the yard of a home on Prairie Drive.
EMS personnel evaluated the driver, Miller said, who was transported to a hospital and later taken into police custody.
But, Miller said, while responders were handling that call the drivers who'd previously declined medical treatment at the second parkway crash scene now wanted assistance. An ambulance crew was dispatched.
That's when the fourth crash occurred. As EMS personnel were assisting the motorist, Miller said a Chevy Suburban smashed into the back of Engine 1-8-2, which had remained to block off the right hand lane of the parkway. The engine driver inside the fire truck was transported to a hospital and treated for minor injuries and released, Miller said.
The driver of the SUV was not injured and was taken into custody, Miller said.
Scenes from that crash showed the SUV, its front-end crumpled, and the rear bumper of the fire engine smashed, twisted and bent.
It was a busy night, Millers said.
"All within two hours," he said.