Today’s news:

Whitestone Expy. accident injures four, including child

Two women were critically injured and a toddler and her father sustained minor injuries when a pick-up truck pulling a horse trailer slammed into their Mazda sedan on the northbound Whitestone Expressway Saturday afternoon.

Witnesses said the four-car accident, which occurred at about 1:50 p.m. just south of the exit ramp at 20th Avenue across from the New York Times building, was triggered by the pick-up toting two horses, which apparently was speeding, police said.

The trailer rammed into the rear of the black Mazda sedan, which then collided with two other vehicles as they attempted to exit the expressway.

“We were lining up to get off the exit. Traffic was pretty slow,” said Santos Ome, 34, of Flushing, who was driving a Nissan pick-up truck that was three cars ahead of the horse trailer. “The trailer with the horses, I think he was running too fast.”

Quiling How, 35, and Feiak Cheng, 20, were taken to New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens in critical condition, said hospital spokesman Paul Pickard. Cheng’s condition had been upgraded to stable by Tuesday evening.

Jainlin Cheng, 40, was treated and released and his 2-year-old daughter, Cici, was released Sunday, Pickard said.

Police said the driver of the trailer was issued an unspecified moving violation. Witnesses said his pick-up appeared to be traveling in excess of 70 miles per hour.

Betty Sepulveda was hosting a multi-family yard sale along the Whitestone Expressway service road when she saw the accident.

“I was sitting down and I saw that trailer go right over the car,” she said. “It went ‘boom.’ It scared the hell out of me.”

Witnesses said police had to cut off the top of the smashed Mazda to remove the four occupants from the vehicle. An empty cooler and a single roller blade lay in the rubble beside the crushed vehicle.

The accident reduced the expressway to a single lane and tied up traffic for more than three hours.

The horses, apparently unharmed, were transferred to another trailer that arrived on the scene. There were no reports of injuries to people in the other vehicles involved in the accident.

“I was so lucky,” Ome said.

Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

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