In response to last weekend’s tragic early-morning head-on crash that killed five Farmingdale teenagers, New York State has installed speed control trailers on Conklin Street that blare drivers’ speeds, while other safety measures are in the works to help prevent additional fatal crashes in the area.

In letter dated Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand that he was “deeply saddened” when he learned of the deadly crash, adding that as a father of three daughters, “I know all too well the importance of keeping our roads safe.”

The recently installed speed control trailers are meant to serve two functions: inform drivers as to how fast they’re traveling and encourage them to obey the speed limit.

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s office is looking into other safety measures it can pursue, such as using radar devices that will switch traffic lights to red when they identify a speeding vehicle, forcing the driver to stop. Cuomo wrote that the state is planning to install the first of those devices at the corner of Conklin and Walnut Street in the coming weeks.

Additionally, the state’s Traffic Safety Committee will work with traffic boards and Nassau and Suffolk police to come up with further recommendations. Those may include warning drivers of the dangers of drag racing, though police have not yet said if that was a factor in the crash.

A Nassau County police spokeswoman said Thursday that the department doesn’t “have anything further at this time.” The investigation is continuing.

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The state will also review the feasibility of lane modifications.

“Enforcement and education are important elements that need to be addressed as well to support any engineering on the roadway,” Cuomo wrote.

The five victims were all either current or past Farmingdale High School students. They were all traveling in the same car just after midnight on Saturday when it crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with an SUV, police said. Two of the passengers died instantly.

Friends and family mourned the victims at a vigil on Mother’s Day, and a makeshift memorial replete with colorful bouquets of flowers, balloons, photos and candles has sprouted up near the scene of the horrific crash.

The victims were identified as:

  • Tristan K. Reichle, 17, of Farmingdale
  • Jesse J, Romero, 18, of South Farmingdale
  • Carly Lonborg, 14, of South Farmingdale
  • Noah Francis, 15, of Farmingdale
  • Cody Talanian, 17, of Farmingdale

Read the letter:

Cuomo Letter to Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand


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