Historic Storm Blamed for LIE Fatality

A record-breaking storm that pounded Long Island early Wednesday and paralyzed local roadways is being blamed for at least one death, Suffolk County police said.

The driver of a Jeep Liberty lost control of his vehicle in Melville near Route 110 on the Long Island Expressway around 5 a.m. and was struck by a tractor trailer, police said. The SUV slammed into a guardrail and then became engulfed in flames, police said.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The man’s name is being withheld pending positive identification by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, police said.

The 52-year-old driver of the tractor trailer, owned by JVB Transport, sustained minor injuries, police said. The trailer was carrying waste oil.

Officials said the crash was weather related.

More than a foot of rain fell on Long Island early Wednesday morning. Tim Morrin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said 5 inches of rain fell in some areas between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.

The powerful storm submerged dozens of vehicles and left countless others abandoned.