Five vehicles crashed in a chain-reaction collision that shut down the westbound Long Island Expressway for more than four hours Tuesday night in Islandia, Suffolk County police said.
Three people were taken to the hospital, including one who was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries, police said. The other two have injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
Investigators said Douglas Rodger, 55, of Long Beach, failed to stop his 2013 Hyundai in time and crashed into a 1998 Plymouth that was stopped in traffic in the left lane just west of Veterans Memorial Highway. It happened about 5:40 p.m., police said.
The Plymouth then hit a 2000 Toyota, which then crashed into a 2016 Mitsubishi, which struck a 2014 Chevrolet, police said.
Rodger suffered partial paralysis and was airlifted to the Stony Brook hospital, police said. The driver of the Plymouth, Christian Dominguez, 35, of Brentwood and Darlene Rosales, 16, of Bay Shore, a passenger in the Mitsubishi, were taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, police said.
Photos of the scene show one sedan with major front-end damage and another with rear-end damage.
The westbound expressway was closed between Exit 56, Wheeler Road, and Exit 57, Veterans Memorial Highway, and was reopened at 10:15 p.m., authorities said.
Motorists were directed onto the service road, and while the eastbound LIE was not shut down, traffic slowed because of rubbernecking, police said.
The vehicles carrying people who were injured were impounded for safety checks, police said.
With William Murphy