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Two die fleeing cops in West Babylon

A vehicle crashed into a parked minivan at

A vehicle crashed into a parked minivan at high speed and overturned Saturday morning at Straight Path and 11th Street in West Babylon. (Dec. 4, 2010) Photo Credit: Paul Mazza

Two men fleeing a traffic stop were killed in West Babylon Saturday after a 2 ¼-mile police chase, authorities said.

The crash happened on Straight Path between 11th and 12th streets at 8:28 a.m., more than two miles after patrol officers tried to stop a 2003 Toyota Camry for going through a stop sign in Wyandanch, said Det. Lt. Robert Edwards, commanding officer of Suffolk's First Squad detectives.

Instead of pulling over, the driver drove south on Straight Path, losing control of the car in West Babylon and hitting a shed, a tree and a parked car. The Camry then caught fire.

The driver, Rocco Coscia, 36, of 11 Hawthorne St., Massapequa, was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where we was pronounced dead, police said.

His passenger, Michael Griffin, 42, of 66 Garden City St., Wyandanch, died at the crash scene.

Edwards said it appeared officers followed the department's procedures governing pursuits, but he declined to elaborate.

Edwards has said previously the procedures require an officer to radio in his or her decision to pursue a suspect and for a supervisor to monitor the situation.

Edwards said police were investigating the circumstances of yesterday's crash, including how fast the cars were going.

"There's a lot of work to be done," he said. "It could take weeks to resolve."

A substance believed to be narcotics that flew out the window of the Camry during the pursuit was being tested at a lab, Edwards said.

Near the crash scene Saturday, Michelle Nguyen, 47, said she had just returned home from the dry cleaners when she heard a boom in her front yard. Nguyen looked out her window and saw a car on fire.

"I'm still frightened," she said. "I don't ever want to see this happen ever again."

The car flipped over and crushed the roof of Nguyen's Nissan Quest. It came to rest wedged between a light pole and the minivan, she said.

"Thank gosh for the tree," said her husband, Sal Nguyen, 47. "If not, it would have hit the house."

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