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Police Cruiser Crashes En Route To Fatal Fire On Long Island

NORTH MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Two police officers and a pedestrian were injured in a crash that took place while the officers were responding to a fatal fire in North Massapequa.

The Nassau County Police car crashed into another car, which smashed into the front of a hair salon.

The collision left a male pedestrian in critical condition after the victim went airborne and fell on top of a parked SUV, WCBS 880's Kelly Waldron reported.

The 63-year-old female driver of the vehicle that was struck was not seriously hurt, CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported. The police officers also were not injured.

"You heard the impact first, and then the screech," said witness John Vodola. "The screech was the car getting pushed from the momentum of the cop car." 

Vodola also told Gusoff the police car did not have its siren on.

Witnesses described a horrifying scene.

"There were no lights or sirens. We saw the young officer get out, and we were looking at the care, and the car was in the window, and somebody, a young man was screaming there is a body under the car," Debbie Hoffman said.

Police said the patrol car had lights, sirens, and the right of way, but the motorist entered a busy roadway from a side street with a stop sign.

"Accidents do happen, and this is a very very complex accident scene and right now we just want to make sure everyone is taken care of and gets healthy," LeBrun said.

The fire occurred at around 9:20 a.m. Thursday at 191 North Suffolk Avenue, the homeowner who uses a wheelchair was trapped inside.

"The flames were gigantic coming out of that window. I ran over and tried to get him out and couldn't get him out," neighbor Maureen Carsten said, "We broke the windows and called his name, but it's a said day."

Neighbors said the victim of the fire Thomas Reddy was a retired Captain of the NYPD.

"We are devestated by it, just devestated," Angela Dimascio said, "I was shocked about the fire, now I'm doubly shocked."

Reddy was alone in the house when the fire broke out and called 911 from his wheelchair. Police said the responding officers who crashed were doing their best to save a life.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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