Army Reserve Humvee rolls out of gear, pins woman at food festival

CBS New York

BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. — Police on Long Island say a woman was seriously injured when an unoccupied U.S. Army Reserve Humvee on display rolled down an incline and pinned her against a food trailer during a festival.

It happened on Saturday in Farmingville, emergency crews flooded the parking lot, and several festival-goers were taken away in stretchers.

Warm weather brought people to a food festival, and they described a disturbing and terrifying accident at the Bacon Bash Long Island event at the Brookhaven Amphitheater in Farmingville, Suffolk County.

Suffolk County police say the Humvee came out of gear and rolled about 30 feet, striking 46-year-old Suzette Lamonica, of Brookhaven. Lamonica is being treated at a hospital after suffering an arm and leg amputation.

A Coram couple who allowed their 5-year-old son to sit in the Humvee was stunned when, a few minutes later, the vehicle started moving, sending onlookers scrambling and screaming.

Jeremy Araujo said the Humvee’s powerful engine wasn’t running and he examined the wheels to make sure they were secure before letting his son, Jaxson, climb on.

“There was a bunch of kids in it, and it looked sound and safe,” Araujo, 36, said. “Then we’re leaving and we’re about 20 feet away, and there was a loud commotion and people screaming.”

A man inside the trailer, 30-year-old Richard Gherardi, of East Hampton, was burned by cooking oil. He also was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Authorities say two other women suffered minor injuries and declined medical attention at the scene.

The military vehicle was on display for festival-goers and empty at the time of the incident.

The Humvee has been impounded for a safety check.