Updated: April 3, 2013 at 2:33 a.m.
Alcohol was a factor in Monday morning's crash in West Hempstead but the accident is only half of the story.
Despite earlier reports from eyewitnesses at the scene, the four occupants of the SUV that flipped around 8:30 a.m. on Gaynor Place after allegedly fleeing police were not teenagers, but rather in their early twenties.
The driver, Daniel Aviles, 21, of Farmingdale, and his passengers, John Pinzon, 20, of West Hempstead and Jacob Guerrero III, 21, of West Hempstead were arrested on April 2 after the car they were riding in overturned. (There was a fourth unindentified occupant who has yet to be apprehended.)
Prior to the accident, Nassau County Police had received reports of a "suspicious vehicle racing around the neighborhood" and responded to the area. The four individuals had been screaming out of the windows, swerving in the roadway and tailgating a car, according to police. When a patrol car spotted the SUV, he ordered the car to pull over but Aviles allegedly disobeyed and tried to speed away. He lost control of the SUV, causing the vehicle to overturn and strike a tree in front of 615 Gaynor Pl.
When arrived at the scene, they found that the four occupants had managed to free themselves from the overturned vehicle and appeared to be intoxicated.
"As officers helped the occupants from the car, a strong smell of alcoholic beverage emanated from the subjects and the vehicle. Multiple alcoholic beverages were found inside the vehicle," reported police.
All four occupants were taken to Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre for precautionary reasons where they were checked and released. Aviles was placed into police custody and charged with first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed (DWI), third-degree Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer, Reckless Driving, DWI, third-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operator Vehicle and multiple VTL violations.
Pinzon and Guerrero were also arrested later in the day at their homes, and they, along with Aviles, were charged with three counts of Criminal Mischief each for allegedly setting off fireworks inside mailboxes of Elmont homes earlier that morning. Click here for more details.
All three are expected to be arraigned Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead.