05/07/11 6:47pm
05/07/2011 6:47 PM

A car slammed into a utility pole and fence in  Wading River Saturday afternoon, causing the pole to come crashing down on the vehicle.

The car, a gray hatchback sedan, hit the pole on Route 25 just east of the intersection with Wading River Manor Road.

Riverhead Police declined to say if anyone was injured in the crash or how many people were involved. The cause of the accident was not immediately clear.

LIPA workers were on the scene as of 6:30 p.m. The accident was reported about 4:30 p.m., police said.

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | A car slammed into a utility pole in Wading River Saturday.

04/27/11 10:37am
04/27/2011 10:37 AM

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Police investigate the scene where a dump truck collided with a Suffolk County Transit bus Wednesday morning.

Several people were taken to local hospitals after a dump truck rear-ended a Suffolk County Transit bus on Route 25 in Calverton Wednesday morning, according to witnesses on the scene.

The bus driver, who identified himself only as Ronald, said he was traveling eastbound and stopped at the light at Edwards Avenue when the accident occurred about 9:15 a.m.

“It just came out of nowhere and then boom,” he said.

The driver, who identified himself as Ed Kriedemaker of Middle Island, said he thought the light had turned green and expected the bus to start moving.

Neither driver was seriously injured in the crash. The bus was on its way to the County Center in Riverside. It was parked along Route 25 as the bus driver waited for another driver to drive the bus away.

It is not clear how many people were taken to area hospitals, but witnesses said it appeared the injuries were not serious. Police on the scene declined to offer additional information.

Several bus passengers, who said they were shaken up but uninjured, lined up at the bus stop just east of the intersection to wait for another bus to complete their trip to the County Center.

“I’ve been through worse,” said passenger Peter Grotticelli of Holstville.

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01/22/11 10:31pm
01/22/2011 10:31 PM

The Jamesport Fire Dept. was unusually busy on Friday, responding to a structure fire in the wee hours and two motor vehicle accidents later in the afternoon.

The first call, for structure fire in the basement of a home at 377 Tuthill Lane, came in at 5:13 a.m. . The fire was extinguished by the time the two engines with full crews arrived.

The department later responded to two vehicle accidents attributed to icy roads. The first was a three-car crash with an overturned vehicle on Sound Avenue east of Manor Lane. The Riverhead Volunteer and Mattituck Fire Department ambulances transported three people to Peconic Bay Medical Center.

While handling that crash, a second call came at 5:43 p.m. of a two-car crash on the Main Road west of Laurel Lane. The FD brought one accident victim to PBMC.

11/21/10 3:07pm
11/21/2010 3:07 PM

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | A makeshift memorial at the scene where Michelle Defranco was fatally struck by a truck Saturday night

“You saved my life and now you are truly my guardian.”

“Whenever I was in a bad mood, you would say come here and give me a hug.”

“We love and miss you so much.”

Those are some of the words adorning the memorial that now stands where 20-year-old Michelle DeFranco of Shoreham was killed Saturday night after she was struck by a truck in Wading River.

Riverhead Police said Ms. DeFranco, a 2007 Shoreham-Wading River High School graduate, stepped into westbound traffic on North Wading River Road, near Dogwood Lane, about 9:45 p.m. when she was hit by a 1990 Toyota pickup truck driven by Jacob McComb, 22, of Wading River. She was treated at the scene by Wading River firefighters and taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where she died. Mr. McComb was not charged.

Detectives were on the scene the following morning taking photographs of the site. Riverhead Police asked anyone who witnessed the accident and has not been interviewed to contact Detective Michael Schmidt at 727-4500, ext. 289.

Ms. DeFranco’s friends and family members gathered at the scene, on a winding stretch of road between Dogwood Lane and Carrie Court, to build a tribute the Sunday morning after the crash, with a steady stream of mourners visiting the site in the days since.

There, flowers, candles and handwritten notes lie next to a statue of Jesus Christ and a framed photo of Ms. DeFranco, described as a loving daughter and sister.

Friends also have started a memorial Facebook page to post memories of the woman they said was a “great, caring and loving friend.”

“I will miss our convo’s always worrying about other people. You were the most caring person & you always gave the best advice,” one poster wrote.

“Keep dancing and smiling. You will be missed,” said another.

Visiting hours for Ms. DeFranco were held Tuesday at O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Miller Place. A funeral mass was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 24, at St. Mark’s R.C. Church in Shoreham, followed by private cremation.

11/17/10 7:03pm
11/17/2010 7:03 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A tractor trailer overturned nead the Suffolk County Center in Riverside Wednesday morning.

A tractor trailer flipped onto its side while traveling on County Road 51 near the Suffolk County Center in Riverside Wednesday morning, leaving the road outside the courts complex awash in landscaping debris, Southampton Town Police said.

No serious injuries were reported.

The driver of the truck, whom police did not identify, was taken via Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Police said the truck, which was traveling in the southbound lane, flipped and landed in the median about 11:30 a.m., spilling tree trunks, dirt and other natural waste onto the road. It was not clear what company owned the truck.
The cause of the accident was not immediately determined, authorities said.

The Riverhead Fire Department also responded to the scene.

11/16/10 11:16pm
11/16/2010 11:16 PM

PHOTO COURTESY JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT | Charlene Nowack of Aqubogue was airlifted to Stony Brook Friday after her car overturned while she was driving on Peconic Bay Boulevard in Jamesport

An Aquebogue woman was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center Friday evening after she flipped her car while driving in Jamesport, authorities said.

Police said 51-year-old Charlene Nowack was traveling west on Peconic Bay Boulevard about 5:45 p.m. when she noticed another car speeding behind her. She attempted to move onto the shoulder to allow the car to pass when she hit a mailbox, lost control, crashed into a LIPA pole and overturned the car, Riverhead Police said.

The Jamesport Fire Department and Riverhead Ambulance responded to the scene and used the Jaws of Life tool to extract Ms. Nowack, whom they said suffered from serious injuries. She was given first aid and airlifted to Stony Brook.
Stony Brook declined to release Ms. Nowack’s condition Tuesday morning.

Jamesport Fire Department Chief Scott McKillop said many of the department’s members were responding to a kitchen fire at a nearby home when the call came in. He said that fire was quickly brought under control and the volunteers diverted to the accident scene.

He credited his department for quickly extracting Ms. Nowack from her car so she could receive medical care.

“We had to pick u the pace of our response,” he said. “You’re trying to do it as rapidly as possible while trying to protect the patient.”

The fire department said about 46 volunteers responded to the scene and the road was reopened by 7 p.m.

• Darnisha Chantelle Bagley, 18, of Riverhead was arrested on a robbery charge in the parking lot near the Peconic River about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Riverhead Police said. No details were available.

• Patrick Silke, 34, of Massapequa was arrested at Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue in Riverhead about 8:30 p.m. Saturday after he struck a man in the face with a beer bottle, Riverhead Police said. The victim was trying to calm down another person who was involved in an argument when Mr. Silke struck him in the left side of the head, police said.
Both the victim and Mr. Silke were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead. The victim received 16 stitches to his head and Mr. Silke received four stitches to his hand. Mr. Silke was charged with second-degree assault.

• Theodore Watkins, 20, of East Marion was arrested by state police in Riverhead Sunday and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of alcohol by a person under 21. He was released and is scheduled to appear in Riverhead Town Justice Court Nov. 29. No additional information was available.

• Thomas Rainey Jr. was charged with possessing a shopping cart outside a shopping center, a town code violation, near the intersection of Elton Place and Elton Street about 11 a.m. Friday. Upon further investigation, police discovered Mr. Rainey had a warrant out for an arrest stemming from a previous DWI charge. He was turned over to the Suffolk County Police Department 7th precinct.

Those who are named in police reports have not been convicted of any crime or violation. The charges against them may later be reduced or withdrawn, or they may be found innocent.