Officials: Speed likely played factor in fatal Smithtown crash

Posted: Updated:
SMITHTOWN -

Officials say speed was likely a factor in a crash that killed a driver and destroyed a popular restaurant in Smithtown early Sunday morning.

The crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. Investigators say a Nissan Quest minivan was likely going faster than 100 mph down Jericho Turnpike when it lost control, veered off the road, and hit a tree and a sign.

The vehicle then crashed into the Casa Luis restaurant, and the impact ruptured a gas line, causing the car and the building to erupt in flames.

The male driver of the car was killed in the crash. His identity has not been released.

The crash happened after the restaurant closed for the night.  No one else was injured as a result of the crash.

According to the town Building Department, the structure is unsafe and will have to be rebuilt. Long-time customers tell News 12 that they are relieved that the owner and his family are safe.

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