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High heat and humidity continue on Long Island over the weekend

‘I knew something was wrong.’ Kings Park woman remembers fiancé killed in wrong-way Sunken Meadow crash

Police say Anthony Mariano, 44, was killed after his vehicle was struck by a pickup truck headed the wrong way in Commack.

News 12 Staff

Nov 24, 2020, 11:24 PM

Updated 1,306 days ago

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A Kings Park couple was planning their wedding just days ago until a wrong-way crash on the Sunken Meadow State Parkway left the bride-to-be picking up the pieces.
Christine Azzolini is still in shock after her fiancé, 44-year-old Anthony Mariano, died in the crash Friday night. Police say 38-year-old Joseph Norris, of Babylon, was behind the wheel when he slammed into Mariano's Mazda near Exit SM3 while heading south in the northbound lanes.
"I cannot believe that this is the way that somebody got taken from us," said Azzolini, through tears.
Azzolini says she became worried when Mariano didn't show up for dinner. The last time they spoke, he was leaving his brother's house in West Islip and was supposed to pick up a pizza.
"They hopped in the car and retraced his steps, the ride from West Islip to here. And they go to a certain point I guess on the Sunken Meadow and said, 'Don't panic but there's an accident, the road's closed.' That was it," she says.
The couple was due to be married this past summer, but COVID-19 put those plans on hold. Their rescheduled date was for July 2021.
"Every day he said, 'Let's just go get married - let's just go the courthouse and get married, let's just do it," says Azzolini. "And now I'm never going to have a chance to get married."
She says her fiancé was full of life and fun, and was a popular history teacher at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens.
Azzolini says there are no clear answers on how this tragedy happened. State police will only say the accident is under investigation and the other driver is hospitalized in serious condition. State police are urging anyone with information on the crash to call 631-756-3300.
"I'm so angry -- he was my whole future," she says.
Azzolini will bury her fiancé Wednesday. She says she hopes his memory will live on forever.


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