Police not charging driver in Hanukkah crash

December 26, 2008 7:32:11 PM PST
A man who drove his sports utility vehicle into a Hanukkah party in a crash that hurt 14 people won't face charges in the accident, which police said Friday may have been caused by a stuck floor mat. Thursday's crash into the Chanukah Wonderland building, where the Orthodox Chabad community was celebrating the Jewish festival of lights, injured 14 people, including 76-year-old psychologist Theodore Saretsky.

Saretsky, of Atlantic Beach, was released from the hospital on Friday. Two children remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition Friday at Nassau University Medical Center, spokeswoman Linda Cianciulli said.

Nassau County investigators are looking at the possibility that the the vehicle's floor mat was stuck between the gas pedal and brake when Saretsky lost control of the car, police spokesman John Mullaney said.

Saretsky swerved his 2007 BMW X3 left and drove through a plate glass window into the party where Orthodox Jewish families from Long Island were celebrating the fifth day of Hanukkah. About 150 people were at the party.

The injured included eight children, ranging from 1 to 8.