The Suffolk County police officer who stopped a Riverhead man driving a construction crane that struck several vehicles along the Long Island Expressway Tuesday evening said he was just doing his job.
Brian Sinclair, 47, of Riverhead was driving a 2000 Liebherr crane eastbound on the LIE when he first struck a Nissan Altima traveling in the same direction just west of exit 57. Mr. Sinclair continued on, also striking a Jeep Cherokee, a Honda Civic and a Toyota RAV4, according to police. He was later charged with drunken driving.
Officer Luis Bustamante spotted him driving erratically near exit 60, heading eastbound at 45 to 50 mph.
Mr. Bustamante sped ahead and was able to force the crane off to the right shoulder of the highway. As the crane slowed, his fellow officer Joseph Goss jumped into action.
With the crane almost at a stop, Mr. Goss got out of his car and jumped into the passenger compartment.
The driver had two hands on the wheel, turned to Mr. Goss and asked, “What’s up?”
The officer said he was able to use his service weapon to convince the driver to stop.
“I was afraid if the crane had continued down the highway he might kill somebody,” Mr. Goss said at a press conference Wednesday. “I didn’t think any of it was difficult. I was just doing my job.”
Back in December 2016, Mr. Goss found himself in a similar situation, involving a drunk woman driving east on the expressway with a baby in the car. In that incident, the driver slowed down enough for him to jump into the passenger seat and stop her vehicle.
Police said they were unsure where Mr. Sinclair was coming from or what company he was working for while driving the crane.
The drivers of three cars he hit were treated at area hospitals for minor injuries. The fourth driver refused medical attention.
Mr. Sinclair was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He refused the blood alcohol test and the crane was impounded.
He was held overnight at the Sixth Precinct awaiting arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip Wednesday.