Suffolk County Police 2nd Squad detectives are investigating a multicar crash on the Long Island Expressway near exit 49 in Melville over Thanksgiving weekend that killed a Selden man.
On Nov. 24, Dix Hills resident Madhava Reddy, 58, was driving a 2018 Mercedes Benz in the middle lane of the eastbound LIE near exit 49, when he was struck from behind by a 2016 Nissan driven by 31-year-old Eric Preto, of Selden. Preto’s pregnant wife, Gabriella, and his 2-year-old son were also in the vehicle.
Preto stepped out of his car to check the damage and speak with Reddy. As he was walking back to his vehicle, Preto was struck by a 2015 Subaru being driven by Jennifer Massaro, 38, of Smithtown. A 2017 Nissan being driven by Commack resident Stephen Raia, 24, then struck Preto’s vehicle.
Preto was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. Reddy, Massaro, Gabriella Preto, 29, of Selden, and her child were all transported to area hospitals for evaluation. Raia was evaluated at the scene.
Suffolk police impounded all four vehicles for safety checks.
“Late last night, the Preto family was involved in a terrible accident and Eric lost his precious life,” reads a GoFundMe page set up for Eric Preto’s family. This tragedy is absolutely devastating and we’re hoping this account can help with the future expenses of his young children.”
The page, www.gofundme.com/support-the-family-of-eric-preto, had raised more than half of its $100,000 goal as of this publication’s press time.
Any witnesses to the accident are asked to contact the 2nd Squad at 631-854-8252.