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State probe after rest home resident hit by car

An emergency response by police and ambulances, and

An emergency response by police and ambulances, and a subsequent police investigation of a 5:38 a.m. accident, which left a woman, 70, with severe injuries, forced a shutdown of the eastbound Montauk Highway at Deer Park Avenue. The shutdown continued for at least two hours. Credit: James Carbone

The state is investigating how a 70-year-old woman was seriously injured Wednesday morning by a car after leaving a Babylon rest home, a New York Department of Health spokesman said.

Nancy Mikkelsen, who lives at the Bayview Rest Home, was struck as she tried to cross Montauk Highway a short distance from the home. She was unconscious after the accident, after suffering severe head and internal injuries, police said. A helicopter took her to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where she was in critical condition Wednesday night.

The car's driver, John Casey, 42, of East Hampton Road in Lindenhurst, was issued tickets for having an unregistered motor vehicle and having switched plates on the car, police said. The 1994 Nissan Altima that Casey was driving east on Montauk Highway was impounded by Suffolk police for a safety check.

A State Health Department spokesman said the department would investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash, which happened at about 5:30 while Mikkelsen was apparently taking her daily morning walk. Jeffrey Hammond, the spokesman, said the department does not believe Mikkelsen wandered away without telling the rest home's staff.

Generally, officials said, adult home residents can come and go, as long as they sign in and out. Adult homes provide room and board, housekeeping, personal care and supervision for residents, but don't help with medications or manage medical and social service caseloads, as assisted living facilities do, officials said.

The Bayview Rest Home is a licensed adult home that was established in the 1950s by the late Viola Tate, wife of Buddy Tate, noted saxophone musician in the 1930s and '40s with the Count Basie Orchestra. Ira Schorr, the facility's manager, did not return phone calls for additional information about the home or comment concerning the accident.

With Michael Amon and Joseph Mallia

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