Driver Arrested for DWI After Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash

A passenger was ejected from the vehicle of a drunk driver in East Patchogue.

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July 22, 2013 - East Patchogue, NY - Suffolk County Police today arrested a Mastic man for driving while intoxicated after a motor vehicle crash killed his grandfather and injured his two other passengers in East Patchogue today.

Gary Hendricks was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban with three passengers westbound on Sunrise Highway when his vehicle hit the back of a 1997 GMC pickup truck driven by Jonnathan Penaranda. The Suburban went onto the shoulder, up an embankment and overturned several times east of Route 112 at approximately 5:15 p.m. 

Hendricks’ grandfather, Isaac Beal, 77, who was seated in the backseat, was ejected from the Suburban and pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. The other backseat passenger, Donald Fowler, 62, of West Babylon, was airlifted via Suffolk County Police helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital in critical condition. Hendricks, 45, of Mastic, and frontseat passenger Tina Downes, 47, of Medford, were transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue with non-life-threatening injuries. Penaranda, 21, of Patchogue, and his passenger were not injured in the crash.

Hendricks was arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 1st Degree.

Vehicular Crime Unit detectives are continuing the investigation. Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.