Musician Billy Joel crashed a vintage car into an unoccupied house in Bayville yesterday afternoon, Nassau County police said. It was Joel's third accident in about two years.
The crash occurred at about 4 p.m., when Joel was driving westbound on Bayville Avenue and his 1967 Citroen veered off the road and smashed into 409 Bayville Ave. The occupants of the home were not there at the time, police said. The impact left a crack in the home's foundation.
Police said Joel, 54, suffered a small laceration on his left ring finger and minor damage to his car. He refused medical attention at the scene and had the car towed, police said. There was "no criminality" so no charges were filed, police said.
Neither Joel nor his publicist could be reached for comment.
Neighbors who rushed to help Joel said he emerged from the car shaken and sheepish that he was involved in another car crash.
"When we found out it was Billy Joel, we were like holy cow, this is Billy Joel," said Tom Phillips Jr., who helped Joel out of the car and, with other neighbors, helped push the vehicle away from the house.
He said Joel told them he was on his way from his Centre Island estate to pick up a pizza.
"He said 'I can't believe I'm in another car accident,'" Phillips said. "I think he was embarrassed he lost control -- that's why I think he was trying to be a joking guy and laugh it off."
Neighbors said there is a bend in the road near Third Street and Bayville Avenue close to the accident scene that can be tricky to navigate. They said a motorcycle crashed into the same house last year.
Nassau County police said no field sobriety test was conducted at the scene because there was no indication of any type of alcohol or drug use involved.
In June 2002, Joel was treated for alcohol addiction after a car accident in Sag Harbor.
Yesterday's accident marks Joel's third since 2002. His previous two bang-ups were on the East End, where he owns a home. In June 2002, Joel crashed his 1999 Mercedes-Benz into a fire well and post after losing control of the vehicle while attempting to make a turn. He refused medical attention, no charges were filed or field sobriety tests administered.
A week later, he voluntarily entered Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., a drug and alcohol facility.
Joel's publicist at the time said the accident and his hospitalization were "100 percent unrelated."
Six months after the first accident, in January 2003, Joel drove his 2002 Mercedes Benz into a tree in Sag Harbor, and had to be extricated from the vehicle. He spent a night at the hospital being treated for head injuries. No charges were filed or sobriety tests given in that incident either.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times