Cops: Man high on drugs in fatal Sayville crash

The deadly accident left several others injured and a man behind bars.

The deadly accident left several others injured and a man behind bars. (1/14/13)

SAYVILLE - Police say a Patchogue man was high on drugs when he plowed his SUV into seven other cars in Sayville yesterday, killing an elderly man and injuring a woman.

The string of crashes happened on Montauk Highway at around 5 p.m. Police say 46-year-old Thomas Herman was under the influence of drugs while behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Trailblazer in the Village of Sayville.

He allegedly crashed into five cars there, then continued speeding down Main Street and rear-ended a car driven by Robert Schutt, who had just picked up a drug prescription. Schutt says Herman was speeding and "bouncing off cars" without looking back.

The seventh car that Herman allegedly hit was a Hyundai Elantra, driven by 82-year-old Sam Longo, of West Islip. Police say the force of the final crash killed Longo and seriously injured his 79-year-old passenger, Ann Gilbert.

Herman's SUV finally came to rest when it smashed into a utility pole, which cracked in half. Schutt, the driver of the sixth car to be hit, says he rushed over to the Trailblazer to aid Herman, who was yelling for help.

Schutt says a crowd of angry onlookers gathered by Herman's wrecked car and yelled at Schutt to "let him burn" because he had just caused so much destruction. Herman's legs were pinned to his chest and he was saying he couldn't breathe, Schutt says.

Herman remains hospitalized with serious internal injuries. He's facing several charges, including driving while ability impaired by drugs and leaving the scene of an accident.

Police say Herman's blood was tested for substances, but they have not said which drugs he had allegedly used.

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