More than 36 hours after a high-speed crash on Montauk Highway that killed a Deer Park woman strapped in the passenger seat, Suffolk police were still trying Wednesday to confirm who was behind the wheel.
Third Precinct officers and firefighters responding Tuesday to the 5 a.m. collision near Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip found a scene of destruction: a block-long field of shattered glass and plastic, and a nearly unrecognizable sedan with its roof and hood torn off.
A sheared utility pole, still held vertical by overhead wires, indicated where the eastbound car went off the road at West Bay Drive and catapulted down the sidewalk.
Jenny Daprino, 23, who was killed in the crash, was still inside the overturned car, trapped in the front passenger seat, police said. Another occupant of the car, Angela Commisso, 21, of Lindenhurst, was outside of the overturned car when police arrived, and spoke with officers before an ambulance took her to Good Samaritan, according to police and a witness.
Det. Sgt. Tony Lavista of the Third Squad said Wednesday that detectives had not been able to confirm who was driving the 1995 Lincoln Town Car during the single-car crash.
"We don't necessarily think there was a third person in the car," said Lavista. Daprino was wearing a seat belt and could not have been the driver, Lavista said.
"We're looking for help from witnesses, anyone who saw anything," he said. Commisso was hospitalized Tuesday with a broken collar bone and head injuries.
Michelle Diaz, Daprino's sister, said the owner of the car is one of Commisso's relatives. Police said the ownership of the car is still under investigation. They declined to comment on what if anything Commisso said to officers following the crash. A message left at the Commisso home was not returned.
"Right now we're just trying to keep our mother intact. This was her baby," Diaz said.
Police want to speak with a tattooed woman wearing a red dress who may have witnessed the crash. Witnesses are asked to call Suffolk police's Third Squad at 631-854-8352 or CrimeStoppers at 800-220-TIPS.