Memorial grows for victims of alleged DWI crash at Deer Park nail salon

Four people were killed and nine others were injured after 64-year-old Steven Schwally crashed his car into the business while intoxicated, authorities say.

News 12 Staff and Cecilia Dowd

Jun 30, 2024, 4:33 PM

Updated 17 days ago

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Residents gathered outside Hawaii Nail & Spa in Deer Park Sunday to honor the memory of the victims in Friday’s crash.
Four people were killed and nine others were injured after 64-year-old Steven Schwally crashed his car into the business while intoxicated, authorities say.
A memorial for the victims developed outside of the nail salon Sunday. The growing memorial outside Hawaii Nail and Spa included cards, bouquets of flowers and candles.
Customers and community members paid tribute all day Sunday to the victims killed in Friday's crash at a Deer Park nail salon.
Those present told News 12 that they are heartbroken by the incident.
“It's just incredibly sad and emotional,” said Bay Shore resident Julie Burgos. “It's just incredible that one person who made a bad choice caused all of this tragedy. I just hope that we can do something different about this."
Members of Sound of Heaven, a nearby church, went to pray outside the salon.
“It's heartbreaking just to think about people coming to get their nails done and not coming home, and a reminder that life is very fragile. Nobody's guaranteed tomorrow,” said pastor Johnny Ova.
One of the victims killed in the crash was Emilia Rennhack, a 30-year-old NYPD officer. Her funeral is set to be held on Saturday, July 6.
A candlelight vigil will also be held outside of the nail salon Monday at 7 p.m.
The driver who was charged with driving while intoxicated in the incident, 64-year-old Steven Schwally, of Dix Hills, remains at Good Samaritan Hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening as of Sunday evening.
He will be arraigned in court at a later date.


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