Ex-FDNY Member 'Tragically Unable' to Rescue Victims of Fiery Long Island Crash

NY Post - July 10, 2019

by Stephanie Pagones

Three young women were killed in a fiery late-night crash on Long Island despite a retired FDNY member’s desperate attempts to save them, police officials said Tuesday.

The trio, who ranged in age from 23 to 25, was traveling in a 2010 black Jeep Liberty on Mount Sinai-Coram Road near Hamlet Drive around 11 p.m. when “for some reason, the vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility police,” said Suffolk police Det. Lt. David Teufel during a Tuesday press conference at the scene.

The SUV then turned onto its driver side, before becoming covered by electrical wires and bursting into flames, he said.

A retired FDNY member, who name was not immediately released, witnessed the crash and rushed to try to save the women, Teufel said.

“He attempted everything he could possibly do to help the girls out in the car, but tragically was unable to help,” he said. “He was pushed back by the flames and also the electricity…”

All three victims were pronounced dead at the scene. Police are still working with the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office and the women’s families to confirm their identities.

Investigators have recovered the victims’ cell phones and have found nothing to indicate the driver was texting, Teufel said, noting that the investigation is still in its early stages.

No witnesses mentioned any outside factors, such as animals, and police do not believe the Jeep was driving erratically.

“At this point, the witnesses basically said that it didn’t appear that speed was involved or there was no other collision with any other vehicle,” he said. “It looks like a horrific accident, but we’re still investigating.”