A fiery Long Island collision involving a stolen Chevy Camaro ended with the death of five people, only one of whom was riding in the stolen car.
According to Long Island media sources, the deadly events unfolded shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Valentine's Day. A 23-year-old man allegedly stole a Camaro and was traveling east on Hwy. 25 just west of Woodlot Road in Ridge. The hamlet is located in Suffolk County, approximately 50 miles from New York City.
A Long Island police chief stated that Suffolk County officers were in pursuit of the stolen vehicle, yet were "some distance" behind it. Just when they thought that the driver was contained, he eluded them by driving over a grassy area.
The driver lost control of the vehicle and plowed into an eastbound Mazda before striking an oil tanker traveling west. The impact caused the Mazda to collide with an Infiniti that was also eastbound.
A 19-year-old man riding in the Camaro died after being ejected. One of the physician assistants at the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's office pronounced him dead at the scene.
The Mazda burst into flames after the collision, killing all four people inside. The oil tanker driver was taken to a Long Island hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The driver of the stolen Camaro also was injured and hospitalized. Only the Infiniti driver emerged unscathed from the wreckage.
Detectives from the Major Case Unit later arrested the Camaro driver for false personation and criminal possession of stolen property (3rd degree). He also had a warrant already out for his arrest. The investigation continues, and more serious charges are expected to result.
Survivors of those killed in auto accidents, as well as any injured victims, have the right to pursue legal action against those whose negligence caused their injuries and/or deaths. Criminal convictions are not a necessary component to successful civil litigation but may be used to bolster the plaintiffs' case.
Source: Daily Mail, "Driver is arrested while trying to flee cops after crashing stolen Chevrolet Camaro and killing five people in Long Island," Tariq Tahir, Feb. 15, 2018