An 18-year-old female passenger, and a 20-year old male driver were fatally struck and two others injured after the car they were traveling in crashed, and then was struck by an SUV as it sat in the HOV lane of the Long Island Expressway in Old Westbury during a rainstorm on Monday, police said.
Police identified the female passenger as Lauren Stephan, of Salem, and the driver as Yousef Shaker, of Ridgewood, on Thursday.
All four occupants exited the car after the crash on the westbound expressway between exits 39 and 40 at about 11 p.m., said Detective Sgt. James Skopek of the Nassau County Police Dept. Homicide Squad
Skopek said after the occupants exited the 2004 BMW, the car, the driver and the passenger were struck by a GNC Yukon, killing the driver, and leaving the 18-year old woman in critical condition.
The injured 18-year-old woman, who was said to be a resident of Brooklyn, was transported to the Nassau County Medical Center, where she was she pronounced dead.
“It’s a tragic, tragic accident to these young people, and our hearts go out to their families,” Skopek said.
The police declined to identify the victims, the two other passengers or the driver of the GNC Yukon.
Law enforcement sources identified the driver of the Yukon was an off-duty NYPD highway patrol officer, according to a report by Newsday.
Skopek said after the BMW struck the guardrail, it careened all the way across to the HOV divider.
“This car then lay to rest right there, [and] we now think that lights were no longer functioning on this vehicle,” he said.
Police said that after the crash the highway patrol, and the Westbury Police Department received a call simultaneously, for what responding officers Ed Tino and Mike Lynch of the Westbury Police Department thought was a disabled motorist.
Skopek said that upon collision, the 20-year-old man, who was said to be a resident of Queens, travelled from the westbound portion on the expressway, to the far side of east bound lane.
The driver of the SUV and the two other passengers in the BWM were also transported to the hospital. They are currently being treated for non life-threatening injuries.
Skopek said that heavy rains and limited lighting between the exits of 39 and 40 could have contributed to the second collision.
How the occupants exited the car is still under investigation, and both vehicles were impounded by the police department’s fleet service highway bureau for brake and safety checks, he said.
The occupants were just driving around, Skopek said, and are not suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The exact lane the car was travelling is still unknown.
The Nassau County Police Department declined to further comment or release the names of the victims due to pending investigation.