03/29/13 4:30pm
03/29/2013 4:30 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Medical workers load a dirt bike crash victim into a Medevac helicopter Thursday afternoon.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Medical workers load a dirt bike crash victim into a Medevac helicopter Thursday afternoon off Elton Road in Riverhead.

A man was airlifted to an area hospital Thursday afternoon after crashing a dirt bike in woods off East Main Street in Riverhead, officials said.

The man, identified by police as James Bennett of Riverhead, crashed into a tree about 5:10 p.m. in a wooded area just west of the Millbrook Gables neighborhood, south of Route 58, said Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance chief Joseph Oliver.

A Suffolk County Police Department helicopter landed in the parking lot of True Tech Inc., adjacent to the woods, and Mr. Bennett was then transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Mr. Oliver said the victim and other young men were driving vehicles in the woods at the time of the crash. No other injuries were reported.

“As of [Thursday] night he was stable,” Riverhead police Detective David Freeborn said of the victim Friday.

He added that the other people involved, believed to be at least five, fled the area after the crash, leaving Mr. Bennett there, injured.

The bike was gone as well when police arrived.

It’s not known who removed it.

“From what we can tell, they got on the bike and took off,” Det. Freeborn said. “A good Samaritan called 911; the person saw him fly off the bike.”

The decision was made to transport the man via helicopter because of the nature of his head injuries, officials said.

Reached Friday, Ms. Bennett’s mother asked only that people keep her son in their prayers.




12/19/12 8:38am
12/19/2012 8:38 AM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead volunteers battle Wednesday morning’s house fire.

Police are investigating a house fire that destroyed a house in Riverhead’s Millbrook Gables neighborhood between East Main Street and Route 58 Wednesday morning.

Arson is not suspected in the fire, police said.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Volunteer firefighters knocked down a house fire in a ranch-style house Wednesday morning in Riverhead.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Volunteer firefighters knocked down a house fire in a one-story house Wednesday morning in Riverhead.

Riverhead volunteers were called to the fire at the one-story house at 79 Phillips Street about 7:30 a.m. No one was home when police and fire crews arrived on the scene, fire officials said.

Flanders firefighters were also called to provide aid as firefighters battled the blaze a few dozen yards from a stolen propane fuel truck that had been parked in the property’s driveway.

Riverhead ambulance volunteers were also on scene as a precaution.

The fire tore through the first floor of the home and spread into the basement, officials said, adding that the house was likely unsalvageable.

“It’s a total loss, I would say,” said Riverhead second assistant fire chief Kevin Brooks at the scene. He declined to comment further because of the ongoing police investigation.

The cause of the fire had not yet been determined, police said. The property was wrapped in caution tape as a Riverhead fire marshal investigated.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | No one was in the house when fire officials arrived on the scene.

Police said the owner of the All Island Fuel truck from Shirley had been notified and was coming to the scene. Riverhead police said the truck had been stolen from within Suffolk County police’s jurisdiction.

A representative for All Island Fuel could not be reached for comment.

According to the tax roll, 79 Phillips Street is owned by 56-year-old Gail Jones who, according to voter records, also lives at that address.

No one was hurt in the fire, fire officials said.