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.