Horrific Wrong-Way Accident Kills Cousins and a Former Cuomo Aide



WABC TV reported that five people are dead after a violent crash on the westbound Long Island Expressway, including a former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, an 81-year-old man, and Carmelo and Patricia Pinales, cousins from Hempstead.

The family of three is a very large, tight-knit family, and have about 60 cousins who all live nearby. The family gathered Sunday night still in shock, saying they feel like it’s a nightmare they can’t wake up from.

Investigators say Carmelo was driving Eastbound when he apparently lost control of the vehicle, which crossed over the grassy median, hit a ditch in the grass, then went airborne and struck two vehicles heading right at them. Two others were also in Pinales’ car, including Patricia’s 3-year-old daughter. The other passengers were injured, and are expected to be okay.

Also killed in the crash was Scott Martella, a Communications Director at the Office of Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone. He also worked previously for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. Martella’s fiancee, 29-year-old Shelbi Thurau was transported to a local hospital where she is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Governor Cuomo issued a statement of condolences on the fatal LIE accident.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of those lost in the accident that occurred on Sunday morning on the Long Island Expressway. While we are still learning more, at least three souls were killed and eight more injured in this terrible tragedy.

“I personally knew Scott Martella who was among those killed in the crash as he served in my administration for more than four years. Scott was a dedicated, beloved public servant who worked day in and day out to improve the lives of his fellow New Yorkers. Scott was always full of big ideas to help solve the toughest challenges of the day, and he was deeply respected for his strong work ethic, candor and fighting spirit. Long Island is a better place today because of his service and dedication to the community.

“I join all New Yorkers in mourning the passing of those lives lost, and my thoughts and prayers are with all Long Islanders during this extremely difficult time.”

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