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LIE

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a man and injured two others in Commack May 28.

Thomas Maloney was driving a 2012 Nissan Altima westbound on the North Service Road of the Long Island Expressway.  As he attempted to make a left turn onto Commack Road from the marked center turning lane, his vehicle was struck by a 2016 Ford van traveling in the left turning lane attempting to go straight.

Frank Stengl, 88, of Coram, the front seat passenger of the Nissan, was transported via Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead.  The rear seat passenger, Joan Walsh, 86, of Central Islip, was transported via Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Stony Brook University Hospital with minor injuries.

Maloney, 64, of Dix Hills, was transported via Dix Hills Fire Department Ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with minor injuries.

The driver of the Ford, Jesse Lombardi, 36, of Patchogue, was not injured and remained at the scene.

Both vehicles were impounded for a safety check.  Detectives are asking anyone with information about the crash to call the Second Squad at 631-854-8252.

File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives are investigating a single-vehicle crash that killed a man in Brentwood March 26.

Scott Henbest was driving a Dodge Durango east on the Long Island Expressway, just west of Exit 55, when the vehicle veered off the roadway into trees on the right side of the road at approximately 11:55 a.m.

Henbest, 52, of Commack, was transported by Central Islip Ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Fourth Squad at 6318548452.

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Local politicians and Huntington Town residents have successfully lobbied the state Department of Transportation to halt construction of a rest stop on exit 51 of the Long Island Expressway.

Individuals were up in arms over the proposal, and lawmakers expressed their dissatisfaction about the plans. Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) said it’s an unacceptable location for a rest stop and said the rest stop itself is unnecessary.

“It backs a residential area,” Stern said in a phone interview. “Unlike other rest stops or centers, where they carry on commercial activity, on the LIE, here all the exits are about a mile apart. There is an ample supply of restaurants, shopping centers and restrooms at every exit, so there is no need for a separate rest stop at this location.”

Stern said the plan calls for featuring the state’s Taste NY program, designed to promote New York’s agriculture vendors. This particular Taste NY would serve as a gateway for Long Island wine country out east, according to Stern.

“This exit is a long way from being a gateway to the East End,” Stern said about why this exit choice doesn’t make sense to promote Taste NY.

According to Stern, Suffolk County has made an offer to work with New York State to create a Taste NY location off exit 67 in Yaphank, which Stern said is a more appropriate location.

Gary Holmes, director of communications for the state’s Department of Transportation, said no work is currently being done at exit 51.

“The commissioner has held several productive meetings with local and state officials on Long Island, and while no decisions have been made about the rest stop at exit 51, we look forward to continued conversations about the health and safety of all users of the LIE,” Holmes said in an email. “LIE motorists deserve a safe place to rest and we’ll keep working on the best way to do that.”

Town Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) said the rest stop should not be added, and that she started fighting plans for it 15 years ago.

“I led the charge against this rest stop when I was vice president of the House Beautiful Dix Hills Civic Association,” Berland said in a phone interview. “I have always been opposed to this.”

She also said the Taste NY aspect is inappropriate, and that the state should not be selling alcohol on an expressway: “The last thing you want to do is give people the opportunity to get alcohol there.”

Berland said the rest stop is too close to a residential community, and the construction the state’s done so far was done without permission. She said residents are already being impacted by the sound of the LIE because brush berms have been removed.

Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci (R-Huntington Station) agreed that the rest stop is disruptive to residential life near exit 51.

“The location is poor because of the noise and the secondary effects it will have to the area and the residents,” Lupinacci said in a phone interview. “I am totally against it.”

Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) agreed with his colleagues that the rest stop should not go up, and that the voices of Huntington are not being heard.

“It doesn’t sound like the Town of Huntington was involved in this decision,” Spencer said in a phone interview. “I always think coordination and communication with the community is key.”

A Middle Country man may have been unwell on Wednesday when his pickup truck crashed into the center median on the Long Island Expressway, before he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The Suffolk County Police Department said the 63-year-old Coram man, David Hutchings, was driving a 2005 GMC east near exit 63 in Holtsville at about 1:15 p.m. when he collided with the median near the carpool lane. The pickup came to a stop after the crash.

According to police, officers and rescue personnel arrived to find Hutchings unconscious behind the wheel. The Holtsville Fire Department ambulance brought him to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said detectives from the SCPD’s 6th Squad, who are investigating the incident, believe Hutchings experienced a medical emergency, causing the fatal one-car crash.

The pickup was impounded for safety checks.

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A routine speeding stop in Huntington yielded much greater results over the holiday weekend when Suffolk County police arrested Bayshore man Mohamed Khan for driving while intoxicated, among other charges, authorities said.

Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol Officer Robert Scudellari initially flashed his lights behind Khan, 42, for speeding on the eastbound Long Island Expressway between exits 51 and 52 around 1:50 a.m. on July 3, police said. The officer soon learned that Khan, who was driving a 2013 Kia, was also under the influence of alcohol and his license had been revoked, the Suffolk County Police Department said.

Mohamed Khan is accused of driving while intoxicated, among other charges. Photo from SCPD
Mohamed Khan is accused of driving while intoxicated, among other charges. Photo from SCPD

Police also said the man was in violation of his New York State driver’s license restriction that he operate a motor vehicle only if it is equipped with an ignition interlock device, cops said.

Khan was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device, police said. He was also charged with criminal contempt in the second degree for violating a court order that stipulated he refrain from consuming alcohol, cops said.

The Suffolk County Police Department also said the man had an outstanding warrant for committing the same offence back in January, and had collected seven traffic tickets for vehicle and traffic law violations by the time of his arrest.

His attorney could not be reached for comment.