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Riverhead officer seriously injured after crash while responding to police pursuit

A Riverhead Town police officer is in serious condition at Stony Brook University Hospital following a collision on Osborn Avenue and Youngs Avenue Tuesday afternoon, according to police Chief David Hegermiller.

The officer, who is not being publicly identified yet, was involved in a crash at about 4:30 p.m. while responding to an ongoing police pursuit that involved other officers, according to Chief Hegermiller.

The injured officer was driving north in a marked police car with emergency lights activated on Osborn Avenue and collided with another car near the intersection of Youngs Avenue, causing the police car to go off the road and into a fence, the chief said.

In a media release, police said the marked police car attempted to pass a second vehicle that had been traveling northbound on Osborn and collided when the vehicle attempted to turn left onto Youngs Avenue.

The pursuit began in Greenport when Southold Town police were notified of an incident where a person was threatened with a knife and had their car stolen, Stringer News reported. Southold police spotted the stolen vehicle and were led on a pursuit, which they ended when reaching Riverhead Town on Sound Avenue. Chief Hegermiller said he believes New York State Police then picked up the pursuit in Riverhead. 

The vehicle being pursued did not turn down Osborn but instead went south on Doctors Path, the chief said. The vehicle went south on Northville Turnpike and then south onto Roanoke Avenue.

The driver fled on foot in the vicinity of the First Street parking lot in Riverhead.

“The driver, as far as I know, has not been apprehended as of yet,” Chief Hegermiller said Tuesday night.

The injured officer was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center and stabilized, and was then airlifted to Stony Brook, the chief said. Police said in a media release late Tuesday the officer was in stable but serious condition.

His injuries were to the upper torso and neck area and he was in the operating room Tuesday night, the chief said.

The driver of other vehicle involved in the crash was not injured during the initial collision, police said.

Riverhead detectives and Suffolk County Police detectives and their crime scene unit assisted in the investigation.

The Southampton Town Police Department posted a message on Instagram Tuesday night, saying, “Our prayers are with our brother, wishing a speedy recovery.”