Long Island man charged in nail salon accident that killed four people

A Long Island man was charged with driving under the influence Friday afternoon after he rammed his SUV into a nail salon, killing four people and injuring 10, according to Suffolk County police.

Police said the driver, 64-year-old Steven Schwally, crashed into the front window of the Hawaiian Nails & Spa in Deer Park, a small hamlet of Babylon, New York, around 4:30 p.m. Friday. Police identified the victims as Jiankai Chen, 37, of Bayside, Queens, Yan Xu, 41, of Flushing, Queens, Meizhi Zhang, 50, of Flushing, and Amelia Reinhack, 30, of Deer Park. Emergency medical workers pronounced them dead at the scene.

Ms. Renhack was an off-duty officer with the Queens police. She had been a member of the police force for more than five years and served in the 102nd Precinct in central Queens. Her husband is a detective in the same precinct.

Mr. Schwally, of Dix Hills, New York, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and was taken to a hospital in West Islip, New York. He remained hospitalized as of Saturday evening. The nine others injured included a 12-year-old girl, seven women and a man, according to the police.

One of the injured people was flown by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was treated at the trauma center, according to Mark Stone, a spokesman for the Deer Park Fire Department. The other injured people were taken by ambulance to South Shore University Hospital and Good Samaritan University Hospital. On Saturday, the police said four people were still hospitalized, in addition to Mr. Shively, whose injuries were serious but not life-threatening, and the rest had been discharged.

The saloon was open at the time of the accident, and Mr. Stone said it appeared most of the injured people were inside the saloon at the time of the accident.

According to a police statement released Saturday morning, Mr. Schwally was driving a 2020 Chevrolet Traverse. He drove through the strip mall parking lot before crossing Grand Boulevard and hitting the front of the salon.

Mr. Stone said nine agencies, including fire departments from neighboring cities, responded to the scene and 150 firefighters and emergency medical personnel were on scene. Authorities closed Grand Boulevard to traffic for hours after the accident.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing, police said Saturday.

Hruby Mekko Contributed reporting.

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