Albertson car crash leaves 3 dead

Albertson car crash leaves 3 dead
The bumper from the 2010 Honda was left near the Albertson pond it crashed into on Sunday night. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

Three people were killed Sunday night after the stolen car they were driving crashed into a frozen Albertson pond.

They were fleeing a state trooper and crashed through a chain link fence into a sump pond near the intersection of I.U. Willets Road and Searingtown Road around 6 p.m., New York State Police said in a news release.

State police identified the victims as 29-year-old Joan A. Sanjuan of Central Islip, 46-year-old Adolph Ford of Roosevelt and 51-year-old Donald Farr of Westbury.

The 2010 Honda was reported stolen in the Village of Hempstead on Jan. 6, state police said.

The state trooper started following the car after his license plate reader flagged it on the Northern State Parkway before it exited at Shelter Rock Road, police said.

The trooper did not have his patrol car’s lights on and called for backup before trying to pull over the car, state police Maj. David Candelaria told reporters, according to Newsday.

“I think he spotted me,” the trooper told dispatchers over his radio as he followed the car eastbound on I.U. Willets Road, according to police.

The car accelerated and illegally passed several cars before trying to turn left on Searington Road, then losing control and overturning into the 10-foot-deep sump pond, police said.

The car was fully submerged in the iced-over pond when Albertson firefighters arrived, said Albertson Fire Department Chief Joel Melamed, who was at the scene.

One of the occupants was pulled from the car as Albertson firefighters and officers from the Nassau County Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit used a winch to get it out of the water, Melamed said.

Rescue divers from the Oyster Bay and Freeport fire departments were also among the 50 emergency workers who responded, Melamed said.

Workers pulled a second occupant out of the car after removing it from the water, but had to use jaws of life to remove the third, Melamed said.

All three were later pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.

One police officer was hospitalized for hypothermia and one diver was hospitalized for hypertension after getting out of the water, Melamed said.

The state police are continuing to investigate the crash, but Candelaria told Newsday the vehicle’s speed and faulty tires were likely contributors.

Police have not said how fast either car was going.

“The vehicle was attempting to make a left-hand turn at a high rate of speed,” Candelaria told Newsday. “… It wasn’t 100 mph or anything like that, but that neighborhood is a 30 mph zone, so with a little bit of icy roads and you’re going beyond 30 miles an hour and you try to make a hard left hand turn, you just slide right off the road.”

Damon Multani, who saw the crash, told NBC4 New York the car hit a patch of ice and “slid right into the water.”

“I was scared, I was definitely shocked when I saw him drive into the pond,” Alex Stephen, another witness, told the TV station.

The state police did not return phone calls or emails seeking to confirm details of the crash.

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