NASSAU COUNTY (WCBS 880) — Four people were killed in a wrong-way crash on the Southern State Parkway early Tuesday morning.
The crash happened around 5 a.m. between exits 29 and 30 in Oyster Bay.
Police said a Toyota Camry was traveling west in the eastbound lanes on the Southern State Parkway for about one minute before slamming into a Nissan Rogue SUV.
The 50-year-old driver of a third vehicle attempted to avoid the collision, but struck the Camry. A motorcyclist lost control after hitting debris in the roadway.
One of the vehicles caught fire as a result of the crash.
"There was a fire that did ensue. It was only brief," New York State Police Captain George Mohl said.
Mohl said the driver of the Nissan as well as two passengers all died at the scene. The victims have been identified as 67-year-old Ruben Sanchez-Flores, 56-year-old Edith Magana and 34-year-old Ivis Sanchez-Cordova. All of the victims were from Hempstead.
A fourth passenger in the Nissan, who was sitting in the front seat, survived. Police said 44-year-old Nadia Sanchez-Cordova, also from Hempstead, is hospitalized in critical condition.
All four were heading to work in Farmingdale. Several of the victims may be related, Mohl said.
The 33-year-old driver of the Camry, identified as Marvin Balcaseres of Farmingdale, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the only occupant in the vehicle.
The driver of the third vehicle was not hurt. The motorcycle operator, a 32-year-old from Georgia, sustained injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital.
State police will be checking cameras to see where the driver of the Camry was coming from and where he entered the parkway.
Several people called 911 to report the car was driving in the wrong direction moments before the crash.
The medical examiner will determine whether the driver of the Camry was impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The eastbound lanes of the parkway were closed for five hours as police investigated the crash.
All traffic in the eastbound lanes was diverted onto Wantagh Parkway. Westbound rubbernecking delays stretched back toward the area of Route 109 and Republic Airport.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information about the crash to call investigators at (631) 756-3300.