Police Identify Drivers In Deadly Crash

By Andrew Wroblewski

awroblewski@longislandergroup.com

Dix Hills Firefighters extinguish a SUV that was involved in a wrong-way crash that killed two people on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills on Oct. 20. Photo credit: Steve Silverman.

Dix Hills Firefighters extinguish a SUV that was involved in a wrong-way crash that killed two people on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills on Oct. 20. Photo credit: Steve Silverman.

Suffolk police have identified the two people killed in a wrong-way on the Northern State Parkway in Dix Hills last week.

Police said a Third Precinct officer, suspecting a DWI and stolen vehicle, attempted to stop Brittany Vella, 25, of Middle Island, who was driving a Dodge Durango in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Central Islip at 1074 Motor Parkway at around 2:40 a.m. Oct. 20. According to police, the vehicle’s affixed license plates did not match the registered vehicle.

While the officer was trying to determine if Vella was under the influence, she fled the traffic stop, police said. Vella then traveled westbound on Motor Parkway and reached Commack Road where she entered the eastbound lanes of the Northern State while traveling westbound.

Between exits 41 and 42 on the parkway, Vella crashed into a 2011 Honda Accord driven by Sarwan NN, 60, of Smithtown.

Police said the Vella’s vehicle burst into flames and both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the officer attempted to extinguish the flames that engulfed Vella’s vehicle, but was unsuccessful.

There were no other occupants in the vehicles and no other police vehicles were involved in the pursuit.

Fire officials said the Dix Hills Fire Department responded to the crash with two rescue engines to extinguish the flames.

Both vehicles were impounded.

After being closed in both directions, the Northern State reopened a little after 10 a.m.

New York State police, which patrols the parkway, was notified by Suffolk police at the onset of the incident, but are not involved in the investigation, which is ongoing.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6553.