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Smithtown man killed in wrong-way crash 'lived the American dream,' son says

A head-on crash involving a wrong-way driver killed

A head-on crash involving a wrong-way driver killed two people early Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 in Dix Hills, closing the Northern State Parkway in both directions during the morning commute, Suffolk County police said. Credit: Steve Silverman

Sarwan NN "lived the American dream" before he was killed by a wrong-way driver in a head-on crash early Tuesday on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills, his son told News 12 Long Island.

Brittany Vella, 25, of Middle Island, fled an early-morning traffic stop, entered the parkway in the wrong direction and then slammed into an oncoming car driven by NN, 60, of Smithtown, killing both of them, Suffolk police said.

News 12 Long Island reported Friday morning that NN was driving home from his 12-hour shift as a taxi driver when the crash occurred.

His son, Ranjit Singh, called his dad a hardworking father.

"He basically lived the American dream," Singh told News 12. "And now was his time to kind of enjoy it, once his kids were done with their education. He unfortunately didn't live long enough to."

Singh said when is father came to the country 30 years ago he didn't have a last name, so he chose "NN" for "no name."

The chase that led to the fatal crash began, police said, when an officer from the Third Precinct pulled over Vella in a 7-Eleven parking lot at 1074 Motor Pkwy. in Central Islip because the license plates on her Dodge Durango did not match the registered vehicle.

"During the officer's investigation, he was also attempting to determine if the vehicle's female operator was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs," police said in a statement.

The driver then fled in the vehicle going 5 miles west on Motor Parkway onto Vanderbilt Parkway and entering the Northern State at Commack Road, heading west in the eastbound lanes, police said.

Vella hit an eastbound 2011 Honda Accord about 2:40 a.m. between Route 231 and Wolf Hill Road, killing NN and herself, police said.

"Subsequent to the crash, the Dodge Durango became engulfed in the flames," the police statement said. "In an effort to save the woman from the burning vehicle, the police officer used fire extinguishers from his marked police vehicle in an unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the flames."

Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. There were no passengers in either vehicle.

With William Murphy


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