Three Killed and Ten Injured in Long Island Expressway Crash


A collision on the Long Island Expressway in Queens on Wednesday morning killed three people and caused a second crash injuring several others.

The accident took place just after 4 a.m. near the Maurice Avenue exit in Maspeth. Three people were thrown from their car after it crashed into a guardrail, which split the vehicle in half; one piece of the 2010 Infiniti then plowed into another car. This caused a secondary accident involving a dump truck and a taxi in a chain-reaction collision, police said.

The victims killed in the crash were identified as 25-year-old Michael Fabre of Queens and Christina Formato, 24, and Giovanny Sanchez, 24, both of Long Island.

The wreck on Wednesday follows a multi-vehicle Suffolk County crash just days ago that killed six and injured six others on the L.I.E. near Manorville. Among the victims in that incident were Scott Martella, a former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as a 10-year-old boy and an elderly couple. Police and witnesses say Carmelo Pinales, 26, was speeding at 100 miles per hour when he lost control and crossed the highway divider, after which his Subaru Outback struck two vehicles.

Drivers have long expressed frustration with the L.I.E., with its heavy volumes and speeders, calling it a “death trap” and the worst place to be in bumper-to-bumper traffic. As one local told Fox 5 News, “This area in general is very dangerous. A lot of people are speeding on and speeding off of the highway in this two-block area. There have been other fatalities. What is it going to take before some type of measures are taken?”

Gary Holmes, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, said that there is no definitive answer from law enforcement yet regarding the cause of Wednesday’s accident but that safety measures will be taken once the investigation is completed. Although this is the second lethal wreck on the L.I.E. in less than two weeks, Holmes says there were different sets of circumstances for each.

“Certainly, both accidents are sad and tragic. But it’s difficult to make a connection between any two accidents,” he said. “From a safety standpoint, it’s too soon to know what happened, and that’s why we’re waiting for law enforcement to piece together the investigation, so we have a better sense of what is at play.”

The Queens-bound lower-level lanes near Maurice Avenue closed for four hours early Wednesday and reopened by 9 a.m. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.