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Police & Fire

Driver, 3 Passengers Face Weapons Charges After Fiery Crash In Dix Hills

Commack Road near Burlington Avenue in Dix Hills
Commack Road near Burlington Avenue in Dix Hills Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Four people are facing weapons charges after they were rescued from a fiery crash on Long Island.

Officers were on patrol in North Babylon early in the morning on Thursday, Aug. 18, when they saw a 2018 BMW speeding and swerving on Route 231 near Commack Road, the Suffolk County Police Department reported.

Police attempted to pull the BMW over, but the driver didn't stop, and officers discontinued the traffic stop, authorities said. 

A short time later, at about 12:50 a.m., the driver, identified as 22-year-old Eric Johnson, of Medford, lost control of the vehicle on Commack Road near Burlington Avenue in Dix Hills and struck a tree, SCPD said.

Police said officers came upon the overturned vehicle, which had caught fire, and pulled the driver and three passengers from the BMW.

Police also located a fanny pack containing a loaded .40 caliber handgun in the BMW, SCPD reported.

The driver and passengers were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. 

Police said Johnson was charged with:

  • Second-degree criminal possession of a weapon 
  • Third-degree criminal possession of a weapon 
  • Criminal possession of a firearm
  • Second-degree criminal contempt
  • Multiple traffic violations

According to police, passengers Magaly Espinal, age 21, of Central Islip, 26-year-old Tazjan Derritt, of Amityville, and 19-year-old Janell Funderburke, of Coram, were charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm.

SCPD said Funderburke was also charged with:

  • Fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • Seventh-degree criminal possession of a substance 
  • Second-degree criminal contempt

Johnson, Espinal, and Derritt are set to be arraigned on Friday, Aug. 19, authorities said.

Police said Funderburke will be arraigned at a later date.

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