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4 dead after vehicle crashes into Long Island nail salon, suspect charged with DWI

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Posted at 10:34 PM, Jun 29, 2024

Four people were killed and ten were injured after a vehicle crashed into a Long Island nail salon on Friday, authorities said.

Steven Schwally, 64, was driving a Chevy Traverse southbound at a high rate of speed through a parking lot in Deer Park at around 4:30 p.m. when he crossed a roadway and continued into another parking lot, Suffolk County Police said Saturday. Schwally then crashed through the front window of Hawaii Nail & Spa.

The vehicle traveled nearly all the way through to the back of the nail salon, authorities said.

Three women and a man were pronounced dead at the scene.

Jiancai Chen, 37, of Bayside, Queens; Emilia Rennhack, 30, of Deer Park; Yan Xu, 41, of Flushing, Queens; and Meizi Zhang, 50, of Flushing, Queens, were identified by police Saturday as the four people who were killed in the crash.

Rennhack was an off-duty New York police officer, according to WABC in New York. The 30-year-old officer was assigned to the 102nd precinct, the station reported.

"The NYPD mourns the loss of @NYPD102Pct Police Officer Emilia Rennhack," the police department said on X. "She was tragically killed yesterday while off-duty on Long Island. Please keep her family, friends, and co-workers in your thoughts. Rest in Peace."

Ten people, including the driver, were transported to area hospitals.

Schwally, of Dix Hills, Long Island, was "partially conscious" following the crash. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and remains hospitalized, according to police.

He has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated and will be arraigned at a later date, police said Saturday.

Four of the injured victims were hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Five others, including a 12-year-old girl, were treated at area hospitals for injuries.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday offered his "deepest condolences and prayers" to the family and loved ones of Officer Rennhack.

"It is never easy to get word that we have lost one of our own dedicated public servants — no matter the circumstances," Adams said in a post on X.

Detectives with the Suffolk County Police are asking anyone with information on the crash to contact the department's major case unit.