Driver charged with DWI after New York nail salon crash that killed 4 and injured 9

NEW YORK (AP) — A Long Island man has been arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated after authorities say he crashed his SUV into a nail salon, killing four people and injuring nine others, police said Saturday.

Suffolk County Police said Steven Schwally, of Dix Hills, had been speeding through the parking lot when he drove his SUV through the front window of Hawaii Nail & Spa in Deer Park at around 4:30 p.m. Friday.

The salon was open and conducting business at the time of the crash, police said. Fire officials responding to the crash said Schwally was semiconscious when his vehicle came to stop nearly at the back of the store, which is located in a strip mall.

Spokespersons for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the police department said they did not have contact information for his lawyer.

Three women and a man were pronounced dead at the scene. Eight females and one man were transported to hospitals, at least two of them with serious injuries, police said. One of the injured victims was a 12-year-old girl. The remaining were all adults, police said.

Schwally was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening.

Suffolk County police identified the dead victims as Jiancai Chen, 37; Yan Xu, 41; Meizi Zhang, 50 — all from Queens — as well as Emilia Rennhack, 30, of Deer Park.

The New York Police Department said Rennhack was stationed at a precinct in Queens and had been on the police force since 2018.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Emilia Rennhack, whose life was taken far too soon,” Police Commissioner Edward Caban wrote on the social platform X.

“Our hearts are breaking,” the New York Police Benevolent Association wrote on X. “Please join us in praying for her family, friends and coworkers. Funeral arrangements to follow.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney’s office said Schwally remained hospitalized as of late Saturday and will be arraigned later.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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