Cops: Fallen Drink Caused Jitney Chain Collision

East Hampton woman in stable condition after suffering serious head trauma.

A three-vehicle crash that sent several people to the hospital and closed Montauk Highway in Water Mill for more than an hour on Tuesday afternoon occurred when a Hampton Jitney driver became distracted due to his beverage falling to the floor of the bus, according to police.

Southampton Town police said Thursday that the bus, driven by James Miles, 51, of Riverhead, was headed westbound when it rear-ended a Mercedes Benz station wagon carrying five passengers, which was thrust forward into the rear of a masonry dump truck.

One occupant of the station wagon, Lisa Lakeman, 20, of East Hampton, suffered serious head trauma and was airlifted by a Suffolk County police helicopter to Stony Brook University Medical Center. She is currently in stable condition, according to police.

27east reported that, at the time of the accident, Lakeman was headed to the hospital with her boyfriend, Timothy Miller, and Miller's three siblings to visit the Millers' cousin, — an East Hampton Town lifeguard and daughter of East Hampton Town councilwoman Theresa Quigley — who broke her neck in the ocean surf on Aug. 23.

"The driver of the dump truck, Brian Doroska, 42, of Hampton Bays, suffered minor injuries and was brought to via ambulance," police added.

and firefighters, , , Bridgehampton and ambulance volunteers responded to the scene as well, police said.

Police said that detectives called in the Suffolk County Motor Carrier Unit to respond for a safety check of both the jitney and the dump truck, and both vehicles received summonses.

No criminal charges are expected.

Correction: An earlier version of the article stated that, according to police, the passengers of the Mercedez Benz were extricated by firefighters. However, witnesses who arrived at the scene immediately after the accident said that no one had to be extricated from the vehicle.

Bryan Downey September 02, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Could of been much worse. Hope everyone recovers fast and gets back to normalcy ASAP. Best wishes.
Walter Noller September 02, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Per Wiki... "Since accident sequences usually happen in seconds and feet, rather than hours and miles, it is easier to understand speeds effect on distance in feet per second (fps) than mph. The “magic” number for calculating mph into fps is to multiply mph by 1.466. The derivation of this is easy since there are 5280 feet in a mile and 3600 seconds in an hour. 5280 divided by 3600 equals 1.466. Therefore, a vehicle traveling at a rather mundane sounding 25 mph is actually moving at 36.65 feet per second (25x1.466=36.65). What this means in the real world can be explained as follows. At the point of possible perception of a hazard while traveling at 25 mph, using 3 seconds of perception/reaction time would mean that you would have traveled approximately 110 feet before any responsive action takes place (3x36.65=109.95). Add to this the distance necessary to stop traveling at 25 mph, which is about 42 feet, and you have traveled a total distance of approximately 152 feet." Utility poles are about 100' apart. Does anyone leave even this distance between them and the car in front? Any more reason we have accidents like this? Spilled drink or otherwise, any unexpected distraction only adds time away from what's happening in front of you. Again, even a second equates to almost 37 feet of travel. I'm sure the bus driver wishes he had at least 37 feet to his front now as does those in the Mercedes.
John Tepper Marlin September 02, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Walter - very helpful numbers. John
pat September 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM
This was a bad accident, clearly due to driver's negligence. But the Jitney is a lifesaver out here in the winter, when there are what? 3 trains a day? And I have found the attendants for the most part to be helpful and friendly. The on-time arrivals the company pulls off are impressive. So Nancy, it sounds to me as if you can easily be one of those "rude city people" you complain about, and if you like the train with its cell phones and lack of attention to its clients' comforts, jitney riders urge you to climb onboard that train.
Penny October 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM
As a former attendant, and certainly not 12 yrs old...they don't hire 12 yr olds. Yes, there are young people & it is a young person's job really in that you need to be able to hustle. We are trained...but there IS no controlling rude passengers. You do your best to make everyone safe & comfortable & get those that irritate, to tone it down as best you can. There are plenty of people who play seat hog & use their cellphones indiscriminately. Some people just lack manners & a 2.5 hr trip to NYC or EH is not going to change their behavior. The driver certainly, should not have taken his eyes from the road, but it is possible, hot liquid fell into his lap as well & he reacted. The drivers also go thru strenuous training. We can all armchair quarterback...but accidents are just that, accidents. I'm sure he didn't plan to hit anyone, but it happened & there's not much that can be done once it has, except be thankful that no one was killed. I can pretty much bet that drivers are no longer permitted to have coffee/beverages while driving now, since this inicident. Geoff & Andrew take safety very seriously. Not to downplay things either, but for the amount of road hours this company spends transporting people back & forth...there will be accidents unfortunately...there's human error. I do hope all involved are recovering fully & able to resume their lives as before. Just for the record...they also do a lot of good in the community.


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