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A vehicle fire closed down the Long Island Expressway eastbound after exit 71 this morning.

A Lexus was driving eastbound on the LIE around 11:30 this morning when, while slowed in traffic, the female driver smelled something suspicious. She pulled over to the side of the expressway after passing exit 71, and, shortly after she and her children exited the vehicle, the car erupted into flames.

Riverhead Fire Department responded to the fully involved vehicle fire with three trucks and approximately 40 firefighters. The fire took nearly an hour to fully extinguish, due to gas in the car’s tank fueling the flames. The cause for the first is currently under investigation.

The female driver and her four children, who were on their way to Splish Splash Water Park, were uninjured in the incident.

The expressway is closed eastbound from exit 71 on until further notice.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Peter Blasl
Click thumbnails to enlarge images
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Courtney is a photographer, videographer, web designer and writer. She is a lifelong Riverhead resident.