Freak accident at Bacon Bash leaves woman in hospital
On Saturday, Sept. 23, Suzette Lamonica, a Brookhaven hamlet resident and mother, sustained serious injuries after being crushed by a rolling United States Army Reserve Humvee during the Long Island Bacon Bash at the Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill.
According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the incident occurred at approximately 5:10 p.m. while no one was occupying the vehicle. The Humvee, which was on display, was parked on an incline, came out of gear and rolled approximately 30 feet and struck her, pinning her between the vehicle and a food trailer. She was transported by Farmingville Fire Department to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was admitted for treatment of serious leg and arm injuries.
Lamonica, 46, is the sister of South Country Ambulance district manager Greg Miglino. He said she is a mother to three children, aged 11, 16 and 20, two who attend the South Country School District and one who is a graduate. She has lived in Brookhaven hamlet for over 20 years and is employed at Bellport Middle School.
During the incident, Miglino said, she was working the event for her daughter’s dance studio, Royalenova Performing Arts located in Center Moriches, where she is a part-time employee. He said she was getting ready to close down for the evening when the vehicle struck her.
“It’s one of those things where your day goes from zero to one hundred and someone’s life has changed in the blink of an eye,” he said, stating that at this time the family is asking for prayers and well wishes. “We are concerned about our sister’s health. She seems to be stabilized now and is at the point where her life has been changed forever, but she has a strong network of friends and family. We anticipate a long recovery, but she will be recovering with a lot of support.”
Currently, Lamonica is at Stony Brook University Hospital, where she underwent multiple surgeries and lost a limb. She will undergo a few more surgeries before she is released. As of Monday, Miglino said she was fully awake and aware of her condition. He also personally thanked the paramedics associated with her rescue, one of whom applied a tourniquet and stopped the blood loss. “Although my sister stands less than 5 feet tall, she has always had a spirit and a mental resiliency much larger than most,” he added.
The Bacon Bash is a popular event drawing a large crowd. It was shut down early after the accident. Richard Gherardi, 30, of East Hampton, who was inside the trailer struck by the Humvee, was burned by cooking oil and was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment; two other women suffered minor injuries, but refused medical attention at the scene. The Humvee was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing. The Town of Brookhaven owns the Pennysaver Amphitheater, and JVC Broadcasting, which refused a request for comment, hosted the event. Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652.
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