YAPHANK, NY (PIX11) – At least 37 cars and a tractor trailer were involved in a serious accident along the Long Island Expressway Wednesday afternoon that left one person dead and at least 16 others injured, officials said.
The accident happened in the town of Yaphank shortly after 2:40 p.m. near Exit 68.
Officials believe the tractor trailer collided with several vehicles, prompting a chain reaction leading to the pile-up.
The crash sparked a blaze that sent plumes of smoke into the air that was seen for miles.
The accident has prompted officials to shut down traffic in both directions at William Floyd Parkway. The roadway was expected to be shut down for several hours.
A total of 27 people ranging from children to adults were transported to area hospitals. According to officials, of the victims included one fatality and 2 who are listed in critical condition. The extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately known.
The other victims reportedly suffered non-life threatening injuries including back and neck injuries.
Authorities remained on the scene late Wednesday to investigate the cause of the crash.