Police responded to the scene of a deadly car wreck in Sayville on October 28, 2015, where they found 23-year-old Christian Hernandez and another driver. Hernandez was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, at which time he was pronounced dead. The other involved driver received medical treatment for unspecified, but non-life-threatening injuries. Thirty-two-year-old Qin Zhang of Brooklyn was treated at Brookhaven and is expected to recover.
The collision is still under investigation by Suffolk County Police. Currently, it is known that Hernandez was traveling west on Montauk Highway. The Patchogue resident was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Malibu when he crossed into the eastbound lanes. Hernandez’s Malibu struck Qin Zhang’s 2013 Toyota Prius close to Broadway Avenue. The sheer force of the collision caused the Malibu to be ripped in half.
It is not yet known what caused Hernandez to drift into the eastbound lanes. However, it is likely that police investigators are considering whether alcohol or drugs may have caused the wreck. If toxicology reports indicate that there were no drugs or alcohol in Hernandez’s system, the exact cause of the crash may never be discovered. It is also possible that Hernandez fell asleep at the wheel or that there was a defect in the Chevrolet Malibu.
Wrong way collisions are more likely to be fatal
Wrong way crashes comprise a small percentage of the total number of car wrecks in the U.S. each year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) states that there were 38,444 fatal crashes in 2004 and 30,862 fatal crashes in 2009. During these particular years, only 393 fatalities were attributable to wrong way collisions in 2004 and 322 fatalities for 2009. These statistics are likely to be cold comfort for the family members of victims of wrong way collisions. Although they are less common, these types of car crashes are more likely to result in serious injuries and death.
Other recent wrong way crashes in NY
In addition to the fatal crash on the Montauk Highway in October, there have been a few other serious accidents caused by drivers traveling in the wrong direction. On October 20, two people were killed in a collision on a Long Island highway. A westbound vehicle struck an eastbound car traveling in Dix Hills on the Northern State Parkway. One of the cars caught on fire and rapidly became engulfed. That driver was believed to have died instantly. The other involved driver did not survive the crash.
Late in August, a 22-year-old motorcyclist was killed when he was struck by an SUV traveling the wrong way. Jeffrey Divine was killed on the Taconic State Parkway after the driver of a 2006 Subaru SUV forced the bike to hit a wall.
Edelman, Krasin & Jaye is a team of accomplished Long Island car accident attorneys who can help victims and their families secure compensation for their losses. For your free, no-obligation case review, call our personal injury law firm at 1-800-469-7429 and let us know how we can help your family.