News Briefs: Huntington Station Murderer Gets 25 To Life

DA: Murderer Gets 25 To Life In Prison

Fernando Romualdo, of Huntington Station, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Photo Courtesy of Suffolk DA

Fernando Romualdo, of Huntington Station, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Photo Courtesy of Suffolk DA

A previously convicted rapist from Huntington Station has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 2013 murder of Sarah Strobel, according to Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Fernando Romualdo, 29, was convicted of second-degree murder after a two-week trial in June. Romualdo, who was serving a three-year sentence in an upstate prison last year for the October 2015 rape of a female teenager, was charged after investigators linked his DNA to Strobel’s murder case, Spota said.

Strobel, 23, was found dead by a hiker in the Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve in Huntington on Oct. 3, 2013, according to Spota. Romualdo was sentenced on Sept. 27.

PD: DWI Arrest Follows Fatal Crash

Eugene Coyne, of Kings Park, was arrested and charged with DWI. Photo Courtesy of SCPD

Eugene Coyne, of Kings Park, was arrested and charged with DWI. Photo Courtesy of SCPD

A man was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after a fatal collision on Sept. 29, Suffolk police said.

Eugene Coyne, 69, of Kings Park, was driving a 2008 Saturn southbound on Sunken Meadow Road at around 4:30 p.m. when he struck a man standing behind a lawn mower.

The man, identified by police as 58-year-old Nicholas Pineda-Maldonado, was first brought to Saint Catherine of Sienna Medical Center in Smithtown, and later to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead Saturday morning, according to police.

After the crash, Coyne was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, police said. The vehicle was impounded for a safety check.

Coyne was held overnight at the Third Precinct in Bay Shore, police said.

He was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Sept. 30, according to court records. Bail was set at $100,000 cash, $50,000 bond and was not posted. Coyne is next scheduled to appear at First District Court on Oct. 17.

FD: Car Overturns, Ignites After Melville Crash

A car burns up on Bagatelle Road in Melville on Sunday, Oct. 1. Photo by Steve Silverman

A car burns up on Bagatelle Road in Melville on Sunday, Oct. 1. Photo by Steve Silverman

One of two cars involved in a Melville crash Sunday morning, Oct. 1, overturned and went up in flames, fire officials said.

The Melville Fire Department responded to the crash on Bagatelle Road near Tamara Court at around 5:15 a.m. In the crash, a car struck an SUV, overturned and went on fire, fire officials said.

The occupants of the car were able to self-extricate and two victims suffering from head injuries were brought to Huntington Hospital by the Melville Rescue Squad, fire officials said. The driver of the SUV declined medical assistance.

Two ambulances, two engines, and a paramedic unit were dispatched and under the direction of assistant chiefs Chris Nolan, David Kaplan and Bill Schmitt.

FD: Car Fire Quickly Extinguished

Huntington Manor firefighters battle a car fire in Huntington Station. Photo Courtesy of Huntington Manor FD

Huntington Manor firefighters battle a car fire in Huntington Station. Photo Courtesy of Huntington Manor FD

Huntington Manor firefighters quickly extinguished a burning car fire early Sunday morning, Oct. 1.

The Huntington Manor Fire Department responded to the car fire on East 8th Street in Huntington Station at around 2 a.m., according to fire officials. The Mercedes-Benz sedan was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived on the scene.

The blaze was quickly brought under control and there were no injuries reported, fire officials said.

Units were under the command of assistant chiefs Jon Hoffmann and Chuck Brady.

The Suffolk Police Arson Squad is investigating the cause of the fire.

PD: Man Killed In Fiery Crash

Firefighters work the scene at Casa Luis restaurant in Commack on Sunday, Oct. 1, when a man was killed in a fiery crash. Photo/Jack O’Loughlin/Commack FD

Firefighters work the scene at Casa Luis restaurant in Commack on Sunday, Oct. 1, when a man was killed in a fiery crash. Photo/Jack O’Loughlin/Commack FD

A man was killed early Sunday morning, Oct. 1, when the minivan he was driving veered off Jericho Turnpike into a Commack restaurant and caught fire, Suffolk police said.

The man was driving a 2004 Nissan Quest eastbound on Jericho Turnpike at around 12:33 a.m. when “he lost control of the vehicle” and it struck an unoccupied, parked 2011 Ford pickup truck and then the side of the 1029 West Jericho Turnpike restaurant, police said. The vehicle then caught fire.

The Commack Fire Department received simultaneous calls for an automatic alarm and a motor vehicle accident, responded and found the overturned car engulfed in flames that extended to the restaurant, fire officials said. There was also an active gas leak.

The owner of the restaurant and his wife, who live above the restaurant, escaped unharmed, fire officials said. The driver of the minivan, whom police had not yet identified as of deadline Wednesday pending determination by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Commack firefighters, assisted by those from Deer Park, East Northport, Greenlawn, Kings Park and Smithtown, began an aggressive attack on the fire.

Around 75 firefighters using eight trucks had the fire under control within an hour, fire officials said. Units were under the command of Commack assistant fire chiefs Bobby Wilkins and John Barry. Firefighters were assisted by Commack Ambulance Corps and Suffolk Fire Rescue Coordinators.

Suffolk police detectives are asking anyone with information on the crash to call the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.