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Death Toll Reaches Six in Long Island Expressway Accident

Filed August 24th, 2016 F.A. Kelley

The Sunday morning accident on the Long Island Expressway involving three vehicles has claimed a sixth victim.

The deadly accident occurred when an SUV, reportedly speeding, swerved off the roadway to avoid hitting traffic that had slowed in a work zone, Newsday reports. The latest casualty is Helen Adelson, 71, a retired dental hygienist. She died Monday afternoon at Stony Brook University Hospital, according to police. Her husband, Isidore Adelson, 81, a retired New York City truant officer, died Sunday night. The Adelsons, who lived in Westhampton, were on their way to a wedding in New Jersey.

Several witness to the crash told Suffolk County police that a Subaru Outback traveling east careened across the median, went airborne and struck a BMW and a Honda that were traveling west. The accident, which also left five injured, happened just after 9:30 on Sunday morning. The driver of the Subaru, Carmelo Pinales, 26, was among those killed in the crash. Pinales’ sister, Patricia Pinales, 27, and Carmelo Pinales’ son, Christopher, 10, also died. Carmelo Pinales and Patricia Pinales were pronounced dead at the scene. Christopher Pinales died Sunday night at Stony Brook University Hospital, Newsday reports.

Scott Martella, 29, was also killed in the crash. Martella worked as the communications director for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and formerly worked for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Martella and his fiancée, Shelbi Thurau, were traveling in his 2014 Honda. Thurau suffered nonlife-threating injuries.

Patricia Pinales’s 3-year-old daughter had non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Marvin Tenzer, 73, who was driving the BMW in which the Adelsons were riding, and Winnifer Garcia, 21, a passenger in the Subaru, were both still in the hospital on Monday, listed in fair condition. Sandra Tenzer, 69, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Chief of Detectives Gerard Gigante said, “It looks like traffic may have slowed. . . It appears he came up fast on a vehicle in the left lane and he moved to the left in an effort to avoid that vehicle, and when he did that, he ran up on the shoulder and continued going across the grassy median and lost control of the car,” Gigante told Newsday. Road construction was not underway at the time of the crash, but the work area was Gigante said the road construction, which wasn’t active at the time of the crash Sunday morning, but the work area on a section of the road that passes over a Long Island Rail Road track on an incline between Exits 68 and 69, is “pretty well marked” with signs and cones, Gigante said.

The State Department of Transportation is working with police to determine whether road conditions were a factor in the crash. That section of road is part of a $10.9 million project to repair the expressway’s bridge over tracks for the Long Island Rail Road that passes over the Carmans River by Exit 67 and at the highway intersection with Wading River Road by Exit 69, DOT records show, according to Newsday.

Gigante said police do not believe racing was involved and there was no indication that drugs or alcohol were factors, though police are awaiting the medical examiner’s report. Gigante also told Newsday that an oil spill on Saturday night did not appear to have played a role. The spill was in a different area and had already been cleaned up with a with a “speed dry” agent.

 

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