A man has been killed and a police officer was injured in two separate vehicle crashes occurring on the same day.
On July 16, Carlos Sanchez Benitez, 44, of Wyandanch, was driving a 2016 Honda CRV westbound on Long Island Avenue, near South 21st Street in Wyandanch. At approximately 12:30 a.m, Benitez collided with an eastbound 2021 Toyota Camry driven by Yanelissa Gutierrez, 30, of Wheatley Heights.
Benitez was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip and treated for minor injuries. His brother and passenger in the car, Jose Sanchez Benitez, 62, of Wyandanch, was taken to South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead. Gutierrez was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and treated for serious injuries. Her passenger, Stephanie Hernandez, 21, was taken to South Shore University Hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is ongoing.
Later that day, a Suffolk County police officer from the Third Precinct was directing traffic on the eastbound side of Sunrise Highway, near Carleton Avenue in Islip, due to flooding in the area. At 11:10 a.m., Howard Shapiro, 62, of Lawrence, crashed his commercial van into the passenger side of the police vehicle. The officer was airlifted via police helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. Howard was taken to South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore as a precaution. Both vehicles have been impounded for safety checks, and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information on the Wyandanch crash is asked to call the First Squad at 631-854-8152, and those with information on the Islip crash is asked to call the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555.