BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. — A mobile construction crane was impounded and its driver arrested after he drove a 30-ton vehicle over cars and smashed others while intoxicated, according to police.
The driver denied the DUI charge, but four damaged cars and three people in the hospital show that the damage is undeniable.
The crane, driving on the Long Island Expressway at 6 p.m. Tuesday, totaled a Nissan Altima while the car's driver was still in the driver's seat, according to Suffolk County Police Highway Patrol. The driver of the car was injured but was expected to recover, according to WPIX.
The crane proceeded to hit another car and two SUVs, sending two more drivers to the hospital, WPIX reported.
"That thing is a tank going down the road," said Officer Joseph Goss. "It's tremendous the damage that it caused."
Goss called for backup and chased the crane, which was driving 48 miles an hour, Goss said, adding that he could not get it to stop.
"He was going into left lane, [then] right lane," Goss said. "He wasn't able to maintain his lane whatsoever."
For more than six miles, the crane kept moving in heavy traffic. Goss and Officer Luis Bustamente were able to slow the traffic in their two cruisers, keeping drivers away from the moving crane.
It was becoming more apparent that if the crane were to stop, it would have to be done by someone other than the crane driver, WPIX reported.
"I really got into panic mode because I thought he was going to kill somebody," Goss said. The lights and sirens of Goss's cruiser apparently finally convinced the crane to slow down enough for Goss to take drastic measures.
"I ran up to the vehicle, jumped onto the step rail of the cabin of the truck, opened the door — fortunately for me, it was unlocked," Goss said. "I was able to use my service weapon to convince the driver to put the vehicle in park, which he did."
The driver, Brian Sinclair, 47, said only two words when he was face-to-face with the officer, "What's up?"
He "had bloodshot, glassy eyes, an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, was slurring his words, and [was] unsteady on his feet," according to a police report. Sinclair refused to take a Breathalyzer test and was arrested.
Sinclair was charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He pleaded not guilty and was being held on $5,000 bail.
The drivers of the damaged cars were all expected to fully recover.
Bay Crane Company owns the crane and did not comment on the investigation.