Aquebogue man killed in crash remembered as ‘amazing father’

05/06/2012 6:00 AM |

COURTESY PHOTO | Charles Edwards sits atop a tractor with his son, Charles Jr., in an undated family photograph.

Charles Edwards, an Aquebogue deliveryman who was killed last Thursday after his vehicle struck a tree in North Haven, was remembered by family members last week as “amazing father” and a “dynamic man.”

“He would stop in the middle of whatever he was doing, whether it was cleaning [his] truck or picking raspberries and point to his chest, to his heart, and say ‘It’s coming from here, and if it’s not coming from here, it’s not worth it,’ ” said his daughter, Melissa Edwards. “That was like my dad’s motto.”

Mr. Edwards, 56, who was killed on just his second day of work for Helen’s Greenhouse and Flower Farm, was a hard worker and a devoted family man, his daughter went on to say.


“Growing up, he was the dad who made it to every sports game possible,” she said, recalling playing games with her father, brother and sister outside in the

COURTESY PHOTO | Charles Edwards in an undated photograph.

yard when they were younger.

On Thursday, Mr. Edwards was heading south on Ferry Road, or County Route 114, near Fahys Road about 12:30 p.m. when he veered off the roadway, crossed traffic and struck a tree, Southampton Town police said.

The driver’s side of the 14-foot Isuzu box truck — from Helen’s Greenhouse and Flower Farm — was badly damaged in the accident. And Mr. Edwards’ leg was severed, said Southampton police Sgt. Lisa Costa.

Mr. Edwards was rushed by Sag Harbor volunteer ambulance workers to Southampton Hospital, where he died of his injuries about two hours later, officials said.

The cause and circumstances of the crash are still under investigation, Sgt. Costa said, though police have ruled out any “criminal element.”

Mr. Edwards worked as a farmer with his father, also named Charles, on their farm in Calverton, Ms. Edwards said.

He then began working as a tanker truck driver and took great pride in his work. Ms. Edwards also recalled that she and her siblings would help their dad wash the truck, keeping it shiny and clean.

Whenever they were driving in the truck and passed a reflective window, Ms. Edwards said, her father would point to the window and jokingly ask who owned that beautiful truck.

Mr. Edwards also adored his two grandchildren, she said, and always had an affinity for his German shepherds. He also loved NASCAR racing, and used to go to Delaware with his son to watch the races.

“I can’t tell you how much I miss him already,” Ms. Edwards said.

Joey Szot, a family friend who called Mr. Edwards “Uncle Charlie,” said he was always making people laugh and smile.

“The one thing I remember the most about him … he’d always ask me about the girls,” Mr. Szot said. “He was always trying to make a joke.”
[Mr. Edwards] was family, just not by blood,” he said.

Donald McKay, owner of Helen’s Greenhouse and Flower Farm and a friend of Mr. Edwards, said Mr. Edwards had just started working for his company.

“This was his second day,” he said.

Mr. McKay, who said Thursday he was planning to visit grieving family members to offer his condolences, said Mr. Edwards had a Class A driver’s license. He also said the company’s delivery trucks were recently inspected and had their brakes replaced.

Read more about Charles Edwards here.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the Southampton Town Police Department’s detective division at (631) 702-2230.

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MICHAEL HELLER/THE SAG HARBOR EXPRESS | Members of Sag Harbor Fire Department's heavy rescue unit responding to the crash scene in North Haven May 3.