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Officials: Wrong-way DWI crash injures 2 cops

Rony Santos, 42, of Wyandanch, is led out

Rony Santos, 42, of Wyandanch, is led out of the First Precinct in Babylon for arraignment in Central Islip Criminal Court. Santos is charged with driving while intoxicated after he allegedly crashed head-on into a police car on Wellwood Avenue in Wyandanch, injuring two officers. (July 15, 2012) Credit: James Carbone

Two Suffolk police officers were injured when a man driving drunk on the wrong side of the road crashed into them head-on in Wyandanch on Saturday, officials said.

The driver, Rony Santos, 42, of 59 S. 23rd St., Wyandanch, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip. He was charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and possession of a controlled substance.

Judge John Andrew Kay arraigned Santos and assigned Legal Aid attorney Stephen Fleming for the bail application. Though the state sought $25,000 bail, Kay set bail at $50,000 cash, or $150,000 bond.

The two officers were not identified. One suffered a head laceration, and back and shoulder injuries, and was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center. The other had back, neck and shoulder injuries, and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip. Both were treated and released, according to officials.

Santos suffered minor injuries and was examined at Good Samaritan and then released, officials said.

Prosecutors said Santos told police that he had several Corona beers at his girlfriend's home before leaving to purchase a 12-pack. He was driving his 2000 Audi west on Long Island Avenue about 10:06 p.m. when he veered into the eastbound lane and collided with the patrol car, police said.

In addition to numerous empty beer cans, officers said they found a bottle containing four white pills and four blue pills in the car's front seat.

Santos told officers he had earlier taken oxycodone pain pills, for which he had no prescription, for a headache, prosecutors said. Results of his toxicology report are pending, prosecutors said.

Police officers said Santos acted belligerently after the crash and had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet, according to prosecutors.

The vehicle Santos was driving was registered in South Carolina and it appeared that Santos did not have a driver's license, prosecutors said.

The investigation is continuing.

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