An alleged drugged driver has been accused of causing a crash that killed an 82-year-old man in Sayville while the suspect was fleeing a hit-and-run Sunday evening, Suffolk County police said.

Thomas Herman was driving his Chevrolet Trailblazer westbound on Main Street when he struck five vehicles, fled the scene and then simultaneously struck a westbound Honda Accord and an eastbound Hyundai Elantra that he was trying to pass between shortly after 5 p.m., police said.

The driver of the Elantra, Sam Longo of West Islip, was pronounced dead at the scene.  His passenger, 79-year-old Ann Gilbert of Oakdale, was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she is listed in critical but stable condition with neck and pelvic injuries.

The driver of the Honda Accord, 49-year-old Robert Schutt of Sayville, was treated for minor injuries at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.

Herman, 46, of Patchogue, was also taken to Brookhaven hospital for non-life-threatening neck, facial and internal injuries.

He was arrested and charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and leaving the scene of an incident. Police said additional charges are possible as the investigation continues.

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Fifth Squad detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or any of the events leading up to it, to call them at 631-854-8552 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.