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Multi-vehicle crash on NY's Long Island Expressway kills one, injures 33

(Reuters) - An accident involving 35 vehicles on the Long Island Expressway in New York Wednesday afternoon left one woman dead and 33 other people injured and closed the expressway in both directions, Suffolk County police said.

Raymond Simoneau, 42, of Rockingham, Vermont, was driving a tractor-trailer eastbound when it struck several cars, causing a chain-reaction crash in the town of Shirley, located about 70 miles east of New York City.

The tractor-trailer, which was carrying storm debris, and two additional vehicles caught fire, which was extinguished by fire fighters, police said. The crash is still under investigation.

The unnamed woman who died was 68, of Blue Point, and had been driving a family sedan eastbound.

The injured were taken to area hospitals. One of the injuries is serious.

The crash happened at about 2:38 p.m., according to a news release from the police.

The weather was clear at the time of the crash. The expressway was closed between exits 66 and 69 as of 10 p.m. local time. The westbound lanes are expected to remain closed for several hours and open before the morning commute, but the eastbound lanes will remain closed overnight, police said.

(Reporting By Mary Wisniewski; editing by Philip Barbara)