Police say 27-year-old Juan Cruz was driving westbound in the eastbound HOV lane when he struck the guardrail between exits 44 and 45 around 4:45 a.m.
A male in the passenger seat, identified as 28-year-old Mauricio Visoso-Ornelas, was rushed to Nassau University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 5:28 a.m.
Cruz, of Deer Park, was arrested. Charges are pending.
The accident investigation is ongoing and believed to be alcohol related.