Police are trying to piece together a timeline as to what happened, with the main question being what caused 46-year-old Thomas Herman's wild ride in West Sayville, during which he allegedly slammed into the other cars before one final crash killed 82-year-old Sam Longo.
Montauk Highway was littered with car parts and broken glass. Robert Schutt, a crash survivor says says it was pandemonium. His own car had been struck from behind. Investigators say the whole thing started just after 5 p.m. Witnesses saw an SUV speeding down North Main Street, side-swiping cars before simultaneously crashing into a Honda Accord and a Hyundai Elantra before hitting a utility pole.
Police say Herman was traveling westbound at the time, and he apparently attempted to drive between the westbound Honda and the eastbound Hyundai.
A 79-year-old woman in Longo's car, identified as Ann Gilbert, was rushed to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore in serious condition. The driver of the Accord, 49-year-old Robert Schutt, was treated for minor injuries at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue and released.
Herman is in custody at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is charged with multiple counts of leaving the scene of an accident and driving while ability impaired by drugs.
Detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or any of the events leading up to this incident, to call the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
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