A 17-year-old girl died and three other teens were injured when the Mustang convertible they were riding in collided with another car and flipped over on Long Island Wednesday.
Isabel Carella, of Smithtown, was killed and three teenage boys were injured — two seriously — in the horrific crash that ended with the convertible on the back lawn of a home in Commack, Suffolk County Police said.
The four high schoolers were riding in the convertible with its top down along Indian Head Road at 3:45 p.m. when the teen driving swerved to avoid another car and lost control.
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Dominic Crocitto, 17, of Kings Park, was behind the wheel of the Mustang. He skidded into the opposite lane and collided with a Jeep traveling the opposite direction, police said.
The convertible then spun out of control, flipped and landed upright on the back lawn of a house on Ramsey Road, according to police.
Carella was declared dead at the scene.
Crocitto and 16-year-old passenger Joseph Gibiino, of Kings Park — who was ejected from the open convertible — each suffered serious injuries.
Crocitto was rushed in an ambulance to Stony Brook University Hospital and Gibiino was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center.
The third passenger in the Mustang, Liam Feeley, 17, of Kings Park, was brought to South Shore University Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Jeep, 19-year-old Annalise Wilkes of Commack, was also brought to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center for non-life-threatening injuries.
At a press conference Thursday, Suffolk County Det. Lt. Michael Crowley said investigators don’t believe speeding or use of drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash, according to Newsday.
“The preliminary cause of the crash appears to be distraction on the part of the operator of the Mustang, but we have no evidence to indicate that speed was a factor at this time,” Crowley said.
Three of the four teenagers in the Mustang are students at Kings Park High School.
“I am deeply saddened to inform you that earlier today there was a very serious car accident on Indian Head Road in Commack that involved four Kings Park High School students – one Senior and three Juniors,” Superintendent of Kings Park Schools Timothy Eagen said in a message to parents.
He said counselors will be on hand at the high school to help students cope with the crash and resulting death of Carella, who was a senior at the school and a member of the varsity kickline team.
Carella was passionate about dance and was a member of the Sara Jean Dance Company in Smithtown for the past two years, according to Newsday.
“She was a confident dancer, but she was humble, even though she had very good abilities,” owner Sara Jean Haas told the outlet. “She [was] a very positive girl.”
The KIngs Park High School PFA has begun a fundraiser to offset expenses for the Carella family.