A drunk driver collided into a Suffolk County Police Department vehicle Sunday night in Patchogue, injuring an officer, said police.
While investigating the area of Sunrise Highway between North Ocean Avenue and Waverly Avenue following the fatal Sunday morning crash where one Patchogue man was killed and two female passengers were injured, police said officer Brian Smales of the Highway Patrol Bureau placed his car with emergency lights activated on the right shoulder of the road. Police said this was done to make the scene safe for search, and was outside the lane of traffic.
Shortly after parking around 7:12 p.m., a 2012 Chrysler 200 driven by Salvatore Distefano, 29 of Central Islip, crashed into the rear of the police vehicle, said police.
Smales was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was treated for head, neck, back and leg injuries and released. Distefano was arrested for drunk driving, and transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue for facial lacerations. He was also released from the hospital.
Police said that Distefano acted recklessly by failing to exercise care by slowing down and moving over to safely pass an emergency vehicle, as per the state's "Move Over Law."
Distefano faces charges of driving while intoxicated, assault in the third degree and violating the "Move Over Law." He is being held at the Fifth Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the Vehicular Crimes Unit at 631-852-6295.