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Treacherous Turnpike

Nassau County Police are on the hunt for a hit-and-run driver, who struck and killed a 13-year-old Levittown student along Hempstead Turnpike early Father’s Day morning. 

 

According to police, Wisdom Lane Middle School student Brianna Soplin was crossing at the corner of Gardiners Ave. when she was struck by the driver of a blue Town and Country minivan at 12:02 a.m. on

Sunday. She was immediately rushed to Nassau University Medical Center with head and body trauma and was pronounced dead by hospital staff at 4:30 a.m. 

 

In response to the tragedy, Levittown School District Superintendent Dr. James Grossane informed students, faculty, staff and parents that grief counselors will be made available to students as needed. 

 

"We are extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of Bryanna Soplin...she was always smiling and had a zest for life," Grossane said. "Bryanna was an enthusiastic participant in school and always lit up the room. She touched all of her classmates and teachers in a special way and the children and staff will miss her deeply. The Levittown Board of Education, administration, faculty and staff extend their deepest condolences to Bryanna's family and friends during this difficult time."

 

News of the ongoing investigation comes just four months after another incident in February, when a 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in a hit-and-run at the corner of Hempstead Turnpike and Shelter Lane. Last May, another pedestrian—81-year-old Robert Chapman Sr.—died around the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue.

 

More recently, on Mother’s Day, five teenagers in the nearby Village of Farmingdale tragically lost their lives when their car collided into a GMC Suburban driving along Conklin Street—which is also known as Rt. 24, Fulton Ave. and Hempstead Turnpike in other parts of Nassau County.

 

Over the past 10 years, an average of three pedestrians a year have died along Hempstead Turnpike, making it one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in the state. 

 

Detectives have also indicated that the driver of the minivan failed to stop after the collision and was last seen traveling eastbound on Hempstead Turnpike and then northbound onto the Seaford-Oyster Bay 

Expressway. Police are requesting anyone with information regarding this crime to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-8477. All callers will remain anonymous.

 

On June 16, Nassau County Police apprehended Michael Elardo, 48, of Syosset, on charges of leaving the scene of an incident. 

News

The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.

 

Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com