LONG BEACH, Long Island - Two people are recovering after they were hit by a police truck on the beach in Nassau County Sunday night.
The victims, a 48-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman, both from Hempstead, were struck around 8 p.m. on Edwards Boulevard and the Boardwalk in Long Beach and were taken to South Nassau Communities Hospital.
The woman suffered a broken finger and a serious leg injury, while the man suffered injuries to his torso. Both are expected to be survive.
Police say the officer was returning from an emergency call on the beach and didn't see the pair. Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said he was personally devastated by the incident.
He said he has known the officer involved, David Walpole, for many years. Walpole has been with the Long Beach Police Department for 32 years.
"He just didn't see them," Tangney said. "It was a terrible accident. He didn't see them, but as soon as he realized something had happened, he took immediate corrective action."
Walpole provided aid to the victims and called 911. He himself went to the hospital, suffering from trauma.
It will be up to the District Attorney to decide whether there was any criminality involved, which will determine whether the department takes any disciplinary action.
"There's a full investigation ongoing," Tangney said. "We've spoken with the District Attorney's Office. I will be sending them all the information, and they will review all the information and do whatever they deem fit."
Cathy Byrne is a regular at the beach, and she says she hopes this incident doesn't give Long Beach officers a bad reputation.
"You can't do better than the cops that patrol our area," she said. "We fully support the police in Long Beach and officers in Nassau County. It's just a terrible incident."