David Skelton, 64, was identified by Riverhead police as the driver of a tractor trailer that went out of control, hit an oncoming vehicle and then a tree before bursting into flames on Edwards Avenue in Calverton on Tuesday, according to police Chief David Hegermiller.
Police did not give a home address for the driver.
The 18-wheeler carrying what appeared to be sand was heading northbound on Edwards Avenue. The other vehicle was a 2008 Subaru driven by 64-year-old Joseph Reilly Jr. of New Jersey, who was not injured, police said.
“I thought it was a brush fire at first,” said Hal Lindstrom of nearby Triangle Lane, who came upon the truck shortly after the crash. “I just saw flames and smoke coming out of there. The whole thing was engulfed.”
The Riverhead Fire Department, Fire Marshall, and Highway Department, as well as state Department of Environmental Conservation and Suffolk County officers assisted at the scene, police said.