02/03/15 7:00pm
02/03/2015 7:00 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | The driver of an SUV died in the Thursday morning crash on Route 24.

The two-car crash on Route 24. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file).

The 54-year-old PSEG driver arrested Saturday on a criminally negligent homicide charge in relation to the Flanders Road crash that killed a Hampton Bays woman last year was texting his girlfriend at the time, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Michael Pepe, 54, of Bayport, was having “an extended text message conversation with his girlfriend” in the time leading up to the Jan. 16, 2014 crash that killed Barbara Tocci, 47, Assistant District Attorney Shaun McCready said at Mr. Pepe’s arraignment Tuesday at First District Court in Central Islip.

Ms. Tocci was driving a 2000 Ford Explorer north on Flanders Road near Spinney Road when she was struck by Mr. Pepe’s southbound Public Service Enterprise Group utility truckSouthampton Town police had said after the crash.

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07/11/14 12:02pm
07/11/2014 12:02 PM
A sign on Route 24 warns drivers of the dangers of texting and driving following the death of Barbara Tocci on the road earlier this year. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

A sign on Route 24 warns drivers of the dangers of texting and driving following the death of Barbara Tocci on the road earlier this year. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

It might be a common refrain, and it might make common sense. But one Flanders family — quite understandably — wants you to know not to text and drive, and not to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

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02/03/14 9:22pm
02/03/2014 9:22 PM
COURTESY PHOTO | Family said Barbara Tocci helped others without asking for anything in return.

COURTESY PHOTO | Family said Barbara Tocci helped others without asking for anything in return.

Other than a few birthdays I don’t have much news this week. Since Jan. 16 our community has been in mourning and many have been walking around in kind of a daze. That is the day when we lost Barbara Tocci in a horrific motor vehicle accident on Route 24, aka Flanders Road.

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