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Girl, 7, seriously injured after van rear-ended in Hauppauge crash; man arrested on drug charges, police say

Suffolk County police and the Smithtown Fire Department

Suffolk County police and the Smithtown Fire Department respond to an accident on Route 111 on Monday, July 13, 2015, about 7:15 p.m. A 7-year-old girl was seriously injured, police said. Credit: Joseph C. Sperber

A 7-year-old girl was seriously injured in Hauppauge Monday night after a man high on drugs rear-ended a van driven by her mother, Suffolk County police said.

The girl was in serious condition and was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with a fractured skull and possible neck and eye injuries, police said.

The man, whose name was not immediately available, was driving south at about 7:15 p.m. on Route 111 between Route 347/Nesconset Highway and Townline Road when he crashed into the rear of the van, police said. The injured girl's 18-year-old brother was also a passenger in the van, police said.

Route 111 remained closed in both directions near the crash site just before midnight as police continued their investigation.

After hitting the van, the driver lost control of his vehicle, went onto the shoulder of the road, over a curb and into the parking lot of Hauppauge Plaza, where he struck an unoccupied vehicle, police said.

He was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs.

He was treated for minor injuries at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown.

Information on whether the girl's mother or brother were injured was not available late Monday night.

Neil Rogel, a manager at Wendy's, located at 527 Rte. 111, said the crash took place in front of the fast food restaurant.

"We just heard an explosion," he said.

After he went outside, Rogel said the van appeared to be catching fire.

"We took out our fire extinguisher and we tried to help the people," Rogel said. "Everybody was like, 'It's going to explode.' "

The driver who hit the van took off on foot after the crash, Rogel said, but police could not immediately confirm whether they chased the man before his arrest.

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