10/23/13 2:30pm
10/23/2013 2:30 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Three people were hospitalized Wednesday morning after a crash at the corner of Northville Turnpike and Oliver Street.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Three people were hospitalized Wednesday morning after a crash at the corner of Northville Turnpike and Oliver Street.

Update: A Riverhead man has been charged with unlicensed driving after Wednesday morning’s car crash that sent a sedan through the foundation of a Northville Turnpike home, police said.

Robert Russo, 23, was arrested after he was treated for minor injuries and charged with aggravated unlicensed driving, a misdemeanor. He was arraigned in Riverhead Town Justice Court Wednesday afternoon and released on his own recognizance.

Original story: Three people were hospitalized after a car careened off Northville Turnpike Wednesday morning, going airborne after hitting a berm and crashing into the side of a home.

A Volkswagon Jetta driving south on Northville Turnpike shortly before 10 a.m. flew off the road and into the side of the home, cracking the foundation and shattering windows in the process.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead Fire Marshal David Andruskiewicz said the building didn't sustain major structural damage.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead Fire Marshal David Andruskiewicz said the building didn’t sustain major structural damage.

“It sounded like a big truck, like a Mack truck, flipped over in the yard,” said one witness who asked not to be named. “I looked out and saw a big cloud of smoke.”

Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps chief Joey Oliver said two men in the car — the driver and passenger — were hospitalized and one more woman sitting inside the home suffered minor injuries after the “force of the impact threw her.”

One of the men in the car suffered head lacerations, according to police.

Both RVAC and Flanders-Northampton Volunteer Ambulance Company responded to the scene. Police said they are investigating the cause of the crash.

Riverhead Fire Marshal David Andruskiewicz said the building suffered damage to the crawlspace wall, but no major structural damage.


07/23/13 5:41pm
07/23/2013 5:41 PM
CLAIRE LEADEN PHOTO | The driver of this car, along with two others in a second vehicle, were hospitalized after a car accident Tuesday afternoon.

CLAIRE LEADEN PHOTO | The driver of this Nissan Versa, along with two others in a second vehicle, were hospitalized after a car accident Tuesday afternoon.

Three people were injured — including a 17-year-old girl who was more seriously hurt  — in a two-car accident in Riverhead Tuesday afternoon, Riverhead Town police and emergency officials said.

The crash occurred near the Saf-T-Swim shopping center about 4 p.m. when a red Nissan Versa driving north on Kroemer Avenue collided with a green Mercury Mystique sedan making a left turn out of the parking lot, police at the scene said.

The teenaged passenger of the Mercury was “pretty seriously” hurt, said Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps chief Joseph Oliver. She was going in and out of consciousness after the crash and was rushed to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Riverhead ambulance volunteers, police said.

The two drivers of the Mercury and the Nissan were also taken to PBMC by volunteers with the Riverhead and Flanders Northampton Ambulance Corps, respectively, police said.

An update on the victim’s conditions was not immediately available. Police said the driver of the Mercury was issued a summons for driving out of class, but no arrests were made.


01/28/13 2:53pm
01/28/2013 2:53 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Jamesport firefighters spreads absorbent material to soak up vehicle fluid at the scene of a two-vehicle crash Monday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | A Jamesport firefighter spreads absorbent material to soak up vehicle fluid at the scene of a two-vehicle crash Monday afternoon.

Two women were hospitalized with minor injuries after a two-car crash on Main Road in downtown Jamesport Monday afternoon, police said.

According to witnesses at the scene, a husband and wife were traveling west on Main Road in a Jeep Grand Cherokee about 2 p.m. when a Honda Civic pulled out of a nearby deli parking lot and sideswiped the Jeep.

Riverhead ambulance volunteers and Jamesport firefighters were called to the scene to treat the victims and clean up the shattered glass and vehicle fluid in the road.

The Civic’s driver and the wife in the Jeep were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment.

Police at the scene said they were not seriously hurt.

Police said the accident was still under investigation, but no tickets or citations were issued. Main Road was closed in both directions between South Jamesport Avenue and Circle Drive while firefighters cleaned up the scene. By 2:30 p.m., the road was reopened.


08/07/12 8:08pm
08/07/2012 8:08 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance vehicle parked in Riverhead earlier this summer.

Residents of Oakwood Drive in Manorville live in the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance district, but they’re much closer to the Manorville Community Ambulance.

That’s why some residents from that area are hoping to find a way to let Manorville ambulance respond to calls in that neighborhood.

Clare Bennett of Oakwood Drive asked the Riverhead Town Board on Tuesday to try to allow calls in her neighborhood to be handled by Manorville.

“I’m basically a healthy person but I have needed an ambulance three times in the last five years,” Ms. Bennett said.

The first two times, she said, the Riverhead ambulance took 40 minutes to get to her home, and the third time, when she had a heart issue, her husband got there from Hampton Bays before the ambulance arrived.

On another instance, “When my eight year old nephew needed an emergency appendectomy, he knew something was wrong, but he did not want to call an ambulance,” she said.

“The Manorville ambulance is three minutes away,” she said.

Ms. Bennett said she spoke with the Riverhead Police Department on the issue and was told that on the first two calls, the Riverhead ambulance got lost looking for her house due to a mistake on the e911 system, which showed her address as being on Oakwood Drive in Calverton.

There is an Oakwood Drive in Calverton, close to Long Island Sound, and its almost 10 miles from Oakwood Drive in Manorville.

The E911 system automatically displays the address of a caller for dispatchers without the caller needing to say anything. Historically, having two or more roads with the same name can be troublesome for the system.

Kim Pokorny, the president of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance board of directors, said this is the first she’s heard of any problems getting to Manorville.

“The only thing I can think of is if the 911 call gets picked up Suffolk County Police E911, there could be a delay, because surely it doesn’t take 40 minutes for us to get there,” Ms. Pokorny said.

The problem with the E911 giving the Calverton address also could be a factor, she said.

Because the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance is funded by a tax base that’s entirely in Riverhead Town, and the Manorville Community Ambulance is funded by a tax base that’s entirely in Brookhaven Town, the only way Manorville ambulance could be allowed to respond to a Riverhead Town address would be for Riverhead to contract for services with Manorville in this neighborhood, according to Supervisor Sean Walter.

“We don’t have a problem doing that,” Mr. Walter told Ms. Bennett. “I think this board will do that.”

Councilman John Dunleavy said he is already working on that issue.

Mr. Walter said he will call Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesco to begin negotiations on the plan.

The supervisor said he’s unsure how to fix the problem with E911, however.

Ms. Bennett said there are 12 residents on Oakwood Drive in Manorville and 61 families in the immediate area with Manorville addresses in Riverhead Town.

She said her neighbors are ready to begin a petition drive.

According to Yahoo maps, the Riverhead ambulance headquarters on Osborn Avenue is 10.2 miles from Oakwood Drive in Manorville, while the Manorville ambulance headquarters on South Street is 3.75 miles from Oakwood Drive.

Ms. Bennett said she didn’t want to slight ambulance volunteers with her request.

“We’re very grateful to the men and women who do this,” she told the Town Board.

The Oakwood Drive neighborhood is the area that was hardest hit by the wildfire that spread through the Manorville and Calverton areas earlier this year. The area is just north of the Peconic River, which is the border between the two towns.


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07/22/12 11:00am
07/22/2012 11:00 AM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Recovering accident victims Alyssa Rowe, 22, (from right) with her father Ronnie Rowe, and Riverhead volunteer Ambulance Corps president Kim Porkorny at the car wash fundraiser for the Rowe family Saturday afternoon at Chase Bank on Route 58.

The two Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance members who were injured in a July 6 accident in Calverton were present Saturday at a car wash fundraiser their fellow ambulance volunteers set up for them  in Riverhead.

Ron Rowe, the 27-year Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance corps member who was badly injured in the July 6 car accident was released from Stony Brook University Medical Center last Friday, July 13, and was in attendance at the “Rally for Ronnie” car wash fundraiser the corps held for him on Saturday at Chase Bank on Route 58.

Mr. Rowe, a former ambulance chief as well as a member and former president of the ambulance board of directors, was injured along with his 22-year-old daughter, Alyssa,  when the pickup truck they were in crashed into the back of a delivery truck on Middle Country Road in Calverton.

Mr. Rowe had to be extricated from his truck by Riverhead Fire Department volunteers, and he was airlifted to Stony Brook.

Alyssa, who is a lieutenant in the ambulance corps, suffered a leg injury and was taken to Stony Brook by ambulance, where she was treated and released. She is still on crutches and also was at Saturday’s fundraiser with her father.

Mr. Rowe, in a brief interview Friday, said the outpouring of support for him and his daughter since the accident has been more than he could have expected, and that he was very grateful.

“I was floored,” he said.

He currently has his jaw wired shut and is expected to have it wired shut for about three weeks, he said. He had undergone extensive surgery to repair the facial injuries he suffered in the crash, and now he can only eat blended food through a syringe.

He said he doesn’t remember much from the crash, but said “other ambulance members told me I was barking out orders.”

In addition to the car wash, current ambulance board president Kim Pokorny has set up a “Rally for Ronny” website to raise funds for Mr. Rowe.

The site says it has raised $2,995 as of Sunday, with a goal of $10,000.

At the fundraiser, Mr. Rowe told a News-Review reporter: “Its hard to say what it all means to me. You do things in your life because it’s right and you don’t think it gets noticed. I’m really overwhelmed by it all. People are calling me from high school that I haven’t talked to in 20 years. I’ve lived here since the first grade. I think that makes me a native. You don’t realize how many lives you’ve touched.”