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Hauppauge Teacher Killed in Car Crash

Police chase after retail robbery leads to deadly accident on Sunrise Highway.

A Hauppauge teacher was killed in car accident Monday afternoon as a police chase ended in their car being hit on Sunrise Highway.

The high-speed chase by members of the Sheriff’s Department ended in a crash that killed Gail Sacher, 62. Her husband, Alan Sacher, 61, was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with a punctured lung, according to the Community Ambulance Company of Sayville.

Gail Sacher has worked as a substitute teacher for Hauppauge Public Schools on and off since at least August 2007, according to the district's personnel reports. 

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested three people in connection with a robbery on Monday at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead that lead to a deadly car chase that ended in Sayville.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the three suspects in custody are Cordell Tucker, 24, of Brooklyn; Rashawn Naquan Smith, 26, of Brooklyn; and Essence Smith, 18, of Troy. They were all charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree and Smith was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. 

Additional charges could follow pending a review by the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Initial reports on Monday indicated that three people allegedly stole more than $4,000 worth of merchandise from True Religion, a store at Tanger Outlets. The three suspects came sprinting out of the store with stacks of jeans, according to an eye witness.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, following a notification from Riverhead Town Police, the suspects’ vehicle — a 2000 Lincoln Town Car — was spotted on the Long Island Expressway. A registration check revealed switched plates not belonging to the vehicle. It had New Jersey plates at the time of the incident. A traffic stop was initiated at Exit 64 but the vehicle fled the scene as officers approached on foot.

The Sheriff’s Office said the vehicle did not stop for units from the Sheriff’s Office and Suffolk County Police for about eight minutes as they traveled south on Route 112 to Sunrise Highway. When the suspects’ car exited Sunrise Highway at Lincoln Ave., they struck the 2011 Subaru, in which the Sachers were riding.

According to a person familiar with the situation, Alan Sachar said he would not move on plans for a funeral service until he gets out of the hospital, which could be a week.

Joseph Pinciaro contributed to this story. 

Moore or less June 29, 2011 at 04:35 PM
nice police work..three petty thieves in exchange for what was a productive life...when are these cops going to realize they're not doing anyone a service by putting the public at a greater risk that the culprits pose...one less taxpayer to fund those highest police salaries in the country
Janet June 29, 2011 at 10:05 PM
I couldn't agree more. That is a rediculous waste of life that should have been avoided. This poor women died over $4000 and law enforcement stupidity.
SJS June 30, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Gail will be missed! She was a great asset to Hauppauge! We wish her and her family all the best!
We Heart Long Island June 30, 2011 at 06:40 PM
They are not petty thieves. They are animals that prey upon society.
Moore or less June 30, 2011 at 07:41 PM
Hmmmm...high speed chase..innocent bystander killed...any question about whether it should have been called off? I personally know of another productive member of society who was the victim of just such a high speed chase in New Jersey; he was lucky enough to survive the police car crashing through his windshield...but not lucky enough to avoid a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Those cops were in pursuit of a stolen car during that fiasco. Both crimes though not victimless would not have caused anyone's death or disability. Cops need to realize this is real life...not a tv show; they are supposed to protect the innocent not put them in harm's way.
Janet June 30, 2011 at 10:51 PM
TM, sorry for the spelling error... Fast typing to blame. However, I stand by what I said. Oh, I am not stupid.
TM July 02, 2011 at 04:04 PM
Cheryl, Janet -- I'm not sure how to respond to the inanity, or the "this is real life, junior" finger-shaking rhetoric. I would refer to my original comment, but looks like freedom of expression is not the MO here. So, considering we don't deal with dissent, I'll leave you to wallow in your self-professed non-stupidity. Regardless, we at least agree that the loss of life was tragic, and assuming this post is not also nixed, I'll reassert that Mrs. Sacher was a great teacher, a great person, and will be sorely missed.
Sara Walsh (Editor) July 03, 2011 at 05:51 AM
Hi TM, your original comment was removed due to the name calling within the post. We also encourage all posters, under Patch policy, to post using their real name.
Jennifer Calderon July 05, 2011 at 09:24 PM
This is devastating!!!! I had Mrs. Sacher in 8th grade. She actually was the teacher that inspired me to become a math teacher!!! I will now hold her memory everyday as I teach my students like she did for me! Love you Sgt. Sacher!!

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