Mother, child killed in accident on Long Island

A mother and her 11-year-old daughter were killed in tractor trailer crash in Bethpage, NY.

April 9, 2010 6:29:17 AM PDT
Heartbreak and devastation in a community on Long Island where a mother and her 11-year old daughter were killed in a car accident.A tractor-trailer slammed into their car and several others in Bethpage on Wednesday.

Eyewitness News has learned some disturbing information about the company that owns the truck.

That company is called "California Food Markets," or "CFM", of Watertown, New York.

Eyewitness News has learned the company is listed as one of the nation's least safest trucking companies by the US Department of Transportation.

According to DOT records, the company is listed as "deficient" in its ratings for its drivers and its safety management.

And that was before the crash that killed a mother and her daughter, less than a mile from home.

"I said when they passed away that if any mother and daughter should pass away together it should be them, because when you saw one, you saw the other always. Always," Joan Esposito said.

For Bob and Joan Esposito the shock has barely worn off.

Their 44-year old daughter Barbara Ryan and her daughter, Joanna, were heading to pick up dinner when witnesses say a truck blew through a red light and slammed into them.

"For a lousy two minutes he couldn't wait there and passed that red light. He took away two beautiful lives," Bob Esposito said.

It happened before the sun went down during the evening commute at the intersection of Hicksville Road and Central Park Avenue.

The semi destroyed the Ryan's Pontiac and sent the vehicle crashing into several other cars. Barbara and Joanna died at the hospital.

Police say Ryan Draper, 32, was behind the wheel of the semi. They said he passed a breathalyzer test at the scene. Investigators are waiting for a drug test and the results of testing on the semi, which is owned by a food distribution company upstate.

But as Joanna's young friends dodged traffic to place flowers at the scene of her death, family members were reeling at the law. If the driver's only mistake was running a red light, his only punishment will be a traffic citation.

"All I can say is if he's imprisoned or not, he has to live with what he's done for the rest of his life. And I hope that life is not a happy one for him," Joan Esposito said.

Police say they've held off on citing this driver until their investigation is complete.

Even though his company has numerous safety problems, cops say his record includes only a seat belt violation.

Also, all large trucks are regulated by the feds, and must prominently display their DOT number. You can learn about a company's safety record by typing that DOT number into the form at