4 arrested after being rescued from fiery, rollover crash on LI

The BMW crashed at Commack Road and Burlington Avenue in Deer Park early Thursday
The BMW crashed at Commack Road and Burlington Avenue in Deer Park early Thursday. Photo credit Google Street View

DEER PARK, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- Four people were arrested on weapons and other charges after they were rescued from a fiery, rollover crash on Long Island early Thursday, police said.

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The four people were in a BMW that police officers spotted speeding and swerving on Route 231, near Commack Road, in North Babylon shortly before 1 a.m.

Officers tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver took off, and police discontinued the traffic stop.

A short time later, the BMW’s driver lost control of the vehicle while traveling northbound on Commack Road and crossed over the southbound lane at Burlington Avenue in Deer Park, police said.

The vehicle struck a tree, overturned and burst into flames.

Officers pulled the driver and his three passengers from the vehicle. All four were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip.

"The engine block of the vehicle was on fire and the officers still went inside to pull the passengers out of the car," Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said at a press conference Thursday. "That right there is bravery."

Live ammunition inside the vehicle exploded moments after officers pulled the driver from the flaming vehicle, according to police.

Police said a fanny pack containing a loaded .40 caliber handgun was located inside the car.

The alleged driver, Eric Johnson, 22, of Medford, was arrested on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal contempt. He was also issued multiple traffic violations.

Johnson’s three passengers, who are in their teens and early 20s, face various charges, including criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal contempt.

Three of them were scheduled to be arraigned Friday, while the fourth was admitted to a hospital and was set to be arraigned at a later date.