2 hurt in Southern State Parkway crash in Lakeview; tractor trailer driver charged

Johnnie Pratt

Two people were injured — one seriously — in a multivehicle crash involving an unauthorized tractor- trailer that hit an overpass early Wednesday on the Southern State Parkway in Lakeview, state police said.

Police said both were in a car that collided with the tractor trailer.

Tractor trailer driver Jose De La Rosa-Martinez, 39, of the Bronx, fled the scene in the tractor cab following the crash, police said, but later surrendered to authorities at the state police barracks in East Meadow. He was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, police said. Arraignment details were not immediately available.

It also was not immediately clear if he was represented by counsel.

Police said De La Rosa-Martinez was driving the 2009 Freightliner truck westbound on the Southern State when it struck the overpass at Eagle Avenue-Hempstead Lake State Park.

The crash was reported in a 911 call at 3:48 a.m., police said.

It was not immediately clear where the tractor trailer entered the roadway. Commercial vehicles are not allowed on parkways in New York State.

Police said that following the initial crash a westbound 2007 Acura RDX then collided with the back of the tractor trailer. The Acura driver, identified by police as Kereen Wiggins, 53, of Valley Stream, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries. She was transported to NYU Langone Hospital in Mineola, before being transferred to NYC Health+ Hospitals/Bellevue in Manhattan.

A passenger in the Acura was transported to Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, police said.

As a result of the crash, police closed all lanes of the westbound parkway between Exit 19S, Peninsula Boulevard, and Exit 18, Eagle Avenue-Hempstead Lake State Park, for about 5½ hours before the damaged passenger vehicle was removed via a flatbed truck around 7:45 a.m.

One lane of the parkway was reopened to traffic at about 8:10 a.m.

The heavily damaged trailer was towed off the parkway at about 9:15 a.m. and onto the nearby southbound exit ramp. Police reopened all lanes of traffic about 20 minutes later, though the exit ramp remained closed until about 10:45 a.m., blocked by the tow truck and trailer.

Eastbound traffic was not affected.

Investigators from the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Collision Reconstruction Unit, Forensic Identification Unit and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit all responded to the scene to investigate. Police are asking anyone with information regarding the crash to contact investigators at 631-756-3300.

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