Deer Park, Long Island nail salon where 4 killed in DWI crash now site of growing memorial

Lucy Yang Image
Monday, July 1, 2024
Long Island nail salon where 4 killed now site of growing memorial
Lucy Yang has more from Deer Park.

DEER PARK, Long Island (WABC) -- The Long Island nail salon where a suspected drunk driver plowed through the front glass, killing four people is now the site of a growing memorial.

Among the victims - an off-duty NYPD officer and three members of the salon staff, who were all beloved by the community.

Hawaii Nail and Spa in Deer Park was where customers used to go to feel beautiful.

"Last Thursday Joy did my manicure and Jenny did my pedicure. She would always pick my colors," said customer Patricia Castillo.

It was where customers felt like family.

Now, the spa is boarded up and is covered with all the markings of sorrow - candles, flowers and condolences.

"They were gorgeous. I've been going here 15 years. I love them all, they are like family," added Karen McClorey.

On Friday afternoon, a speeding SUV crashed all the way through the store, killing three beloved staff members and off-duty NYPD offier Emilia Rennhack, 34.

Rennhack was getting her nails done for a wedding that night. She was also married to a detective in the same 102 Precinct.

Suffolk County Police believe the driver was so drunk he turned his vehicle into a weapon. Records show Steven Schwally, 64, has a prior DWI conviction.

As the community turns to prayers for comfort, they are left with the bitter loss that such gentle souls are now gone.

A candlelight vigil is planned for Monday night. Given the constant stream of mourners all weekend, the gathering is expected to be quite large and emotional.

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