Teen biker ‘one lucky kid’ after crash, surgery at Stony Brook hospital

04/15/2012 2:00 PM |

MANGLAVITI FAMILY PHOTO | Joe Manglaviti graduated from Riverhead High School in 2010.

A 19-year-old motorcyclist has been undergoing treatment at Stony Brook University Medical Center for several broken bones and other injuries after a car turned into his path at a Route 58 intersection Saturday night, police and relatives said.

Joe Manglaviti, 19, of Flanders, was heading east on Route 58 about 7:30 p.m. when a westbound car turned onto Kroemer Avenue heading south and collided with the motorcycle, Riverhead Town police said.

It was the same intersection that claimed the life of a 37-year-old motorcyclist in a strikingly similar crash last May.

Mr. Manglaviti, a 2010 Riverhead High School graduate, was airlifted to Stony Brook where he underwent emergency surgery to repair a broken femur, and has been in “a lot of pain,” said his sister Erica Manglaviti. He also broke bones in his wrist, ankle and suffered pulmonary bruises, she said.

“His left femur was badly broken,” she said. “They had to put a metal rod in to fix it.”

The driver of the car was uninjured and was the sole occupant of the vehicle, Riverhead police said.

“At the end of the day, my family and I are just so thankful that he is here with us today,” Ms. Manglaviti said. “He is one lucky kid.”

The Route 58 and Kroemer Avenue intersection has been the scene of numerous accidents in recent years, including a car versus motorcycle accident last year in which Matthew Carr, 37, was killed. Mr. Carr had recently moved to Riverhead from Rocky Point,

He was headed east on Route 58 shortly after 9 p.m. when he crashed head-on into a westbound 2000 Jeep whose driver was attempting to make a left turn onto Kroemer Avenue, police said after the crash.

Just a day after this Saturday’s crash, a Patchogue biker was killed after a car turned left into his path at the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and Park Avenue in Huntington.

According to drive-safely.org, a motorist safety website, vehicles turning in front of motorcycles is the top cause of fatal accidents for motorcyclists. State government websites also list the left turn case as the most common of motorcycle accidents with injuries, though data from New York State could not be found.

Between trips to Stony Brook to visit her brother, Ms. Manglaviti cautioned drivers to take it easy on the road — no matter what vehicle they’re operating.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a motorcycle, tractor trailer or bicycle, please everyone just be alert and aware of your surroundings,” she said. “This can happen to anyone.”

tgannon@timesreview.com

Additional reporting by Tim Gannon

NEWS-REVIEW COURTESY PHOTO | The accident scene Saturday night on Route 58 in Riverhead.