Update: Police ID victim in fatal Flanders crash

01/16/2014 2:15 PM |
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | The driver of an SUV died in the Thursday morning crash on Route 24.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Police say the driver of an SUV died in the two-car crash on Route 24.

Police have identified a local woman with ties to the Riverhead area as the victim who was killed in a two-car crash involving a power company truck in Flanders Thursday morning.

Southampton Town police said 47-year-old Barbara Tocci was driving a 2000 Ford Explorer north on Flanders Road near the intersection of Spinney Road when she was struck by a Public Service Enterprise Group utility truck driving south that had crossed into her lane.

Police said they do not expect to file criminal charges in the crash and did not say what caused the truck to swerve.

Southampton police, Flanders firefighters and the Northampton Volunteer Ambulance Corps were all called to the scene just before 8 a.m., authorities said.

Ms. Tocci died at the scene, police said. Her body was extracted from the vehicle by firefighters and taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office, police said.

The driver of the truck — 53-year-old Michael Pepe of Bayport — was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of non-threatening injuries, according to a police statement.

A PSEG spokesman said the company takes “the safety of our employees and the public very seriously.”

“[We] will review the circumstances of this incident once all the facts are known,” said the spokesman, Jeffery Weir. “We are deeply saddened by what has happened, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends affected by this loss.”

Mr. Weir said he could not comment on the condition of the PSEG employee.

The state police Forensic ID & Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau were called to the scene to assist in the investigation, officials said. State Department of Transportation workers also responded to repair damage to the roadway, police said.

Both Ms. Tocci’s and Mr. Pepe’s vehicles were impounded for a safety check and further investigation. Flanders Road was shut down between Bellows Pond Road and Pleasure Drive in both directions as police investigated.

Ms. Tocci is a former Riverhead High School graduate, according to her Facebook profile, where friends gathered on Thursday to remember her.

“I am at a loss for words, but I can’t stop my tears,” wrote Kathy Fioto Kruel.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Detectives have asked anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact the Southampton Town Detectives at 631-702-2230.

cmiller@timesreview.com

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