Yesterday, an afternoon crash on the Long Island Expressway near Exit 68 left a woman dead and at least 33 others injured. The crash was apparently caused when a tractor-trailer—hauling Hurricane Sandy debris—crashed into vehicles in the eastbound lane around 2:40 p.m.

Newsday reports, "It started when a tractor trailer hauling debris from superstorm Sandy slammed into multiple vehicles just after 2:30 p.m., causing a massive fireball that cast thick, black smoke and flames into the sky. Cars, trucks and tractor trailers—some on fire with occupants struggling to get free—were scattered across the LIE in the aftermath."

The woman who died was a 68-year-old driving a Toyota Camry. Three people were seriously injured, and two of them airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital. According to WABC 7, "A car involved in the initial collision with the tractor-trailer was incinerated beyond recognition, with its tires punctured and paint burned off its body. Some SUVs and cars suffered extensive damage while others appeared to have barely a scratch; all were haphazardly stopped across the highway, which is up to six lanes in parts." A fire chief said, "Anybody rolling up on this scene you would think there would be definitely more than just one fatality. It's just lucky that it's only one, but it could have been a lot worse."

The tractor-trailer was burning for hours and the L.I.E. was closed until 6 a.m. this morning. Its driver, Raymond Simoneau, was not injured. The authorities are going to impound the tractor-trailer and other vehicles for safety checks.