By Jano Tantongco
A Commack man, mortgage firm assistant branch manager and loving uncle of four nieces, was killed in a single-car crash Sunday on the Long Island Expressway in Brentwood after his car veered off the roadway into trees.
Suffolk County Police said 52-year-old Scott Henbest was driving a Dodge Durango eastbound on the LIE, west of Exit 55, when it crashed at around 11:55 a.m.
A Central Islip Ambulance brought Henbest to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead.
Henbest’s younger sister, Karrie Guariglia, said that after their father, Ross Henbest, died, Scott filled in the roles of mentor and role model.
“He was kind and genuine. He was contagious with his smile,” said Guariglia, who lives in Maryland. “He was always there for you. He was our everything.”
Guariglia added that her brother loved golf, darts and softball, but most of all, he loved his nieces.
They “were his world,” Guariglia said.
Henbest was born on July 6, 1964 in Wilmington, Delaware, and the family moved to Huntington shortly after.
His other sister, Taryn Ott, of Florida, said that Henbest not only cared for them, but he also “was always there for everybody, always.”
“Besides being an amazing big brother, he just had an amazing network of friends and an outpour of love from his friends and people who he has touched in his 52 years is just mind-boggling,” Ott said.
Steve Probst, Islandia branch manager and New York regional manager of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp., said Henbest’s death has “been really rough.”
“We’re all devastated here. We’re a family,” he said.
He read from a letter that Henbest’s colleague, Norman, had written when he learned the news.
“He was a great guy and will be missed by all,” the letter read. “I am not in the camp of those who believe time heals all. I believe a loss like this is something you now carry for the rest of your life. It is true the passage of time will numb the pain, but it will never make it okay.”
Probst added that Henbest, known for his quick wit and sarcastic sense of humor, was also an integral part of the company’s nonprofit branch, the Fairway Foundation, which assists veterans by providing pathways to a mortgage-free housing.
Probst added that Henbest helped organize the foundation’s benefit concert and comedy show taking place on May 12 at Commack Middle School from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
“He was a big part of what we do,” he said. “He was a very kind, genuine man who had incredibly integrity and incredible honesty.”
Henbest is survived by mother Robin Henbest-Lauer; sisters Karrie and Taryn; four nieces; and his girlfriend, Caryn Carrillo, and her two children.
Visitation will be held Saturday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., at A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home in Huntington Station. There will be a private cremation.
Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives are asking anyone with information on the crash that killed Henbest to call 631-854-8452.