Damaged vehicles and debris is seen across the Long Island Expressway following a chain reaction crash on Wednesday. (Photo : Associated Press)
A massive pileup on the Long Island Expressway has left at least one person dead and over 32 people injured according to a report by the Associated Press.
New York Police Department reported the accident happened around 3 p.m. on Dec. 19 on the eastbound side of the highway. At least one tractor-trailer and "several" cars were damaged by a fire according to police.One of the vehicles was burned so badly that officials couldn't tell what kind of car it was.
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The road was closed between exits 65 and 69, and the eastbound section could be closed through the night according to state police.
John Mirando, the chief of Ridge Fire Department, said that he was surprised there was only one fatality during the ordeal.
"Anybody rolling up on this scene you would think there would be definitely more than just one fatality," said Mirando to The Miami Herald. "It's just lucky that it's only one, but it could have been a lot worse."
Police aren't sure what exactly caused the pileup and have been investigating since first being notified. They have yet to release the name of the victim who died, but confirmed that the person was not the driver of the tractor-trailer that caught fire.
The news comes shortly after a 60 car pileup closed down Interstate 5 in California earlier this week
Click here to read more about the California pileup.
A driver who was in the middle of the whole ordeal said that he was ahead of the accident when he saw two cars suddenly stop on the shoulder of the road.
"The gentleman to the right of me went down to the ground and was praying," said Danny Gershonowitz to Newsday. "When I looked in my rear view mirror, there was smoke and flames coming out," he said.
Gershonowitz was able to help the man out of the smoking vehicle on time. Soon after successfully pulling the man out, the entire truck caught fire. Police advised people to run away since they thought the vehicle could explode at any minute according to the Associated Press.