A little before 10 pm last night, police say a 25-year-old man driving a Chevrolet Suburban blew through a stop sign on Staten Island, which resulted in the SUV being hit from behind, killing one of the passengers and injuring seven others.
Police tell the Staten Island Advance that as the SUV sped through the intersection at Hillside Terrace and Hylan Boulevard, a Nissan Sentra crashed into the back, sending the Suburban flipping end over end before finally slamming into a parked car. The impact sent several of the teenage passengers flying from the vehicle. One 18-year-old passenger of the Chevy suffered serious head trauma and was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital. Two others had broken ankles.
Cops say that a 17-year-old girl even had to have part of her right arm amputated, and the driver of the Sentra, a 20-year-old man, is being treated for body trauma. Retired NYPD Police Officer Robert Frisci, who lives nearby, heard the crash and immediately rushed to the scene. "I heard the crash and I ran out of my house and found a female in her early 20s lying on the ground and her right arm was almost completely severed just above the elbow," he explained.
Despite — or maybe because of — all the carnage, the driver of the Chevy, whom police identify as 25-year-old Brian Pittsley, fled the scene before cops arrived. Stephen Goetz, a 43-year-old who also lives near where the crash occurred, said the impact "sounded like multiple explosions." Goetz tried to chase down the driver of the SUV, but decided to help the many victims instead. Cops arrested him after a chase through Bensonhurst, and the Post reports that Pittsley has five prior arrests, including busts for grand larceny, assault, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and petit larceny.