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Cops Investigating County Road 39 Crash

Two-vehicle accident and subsequent clean up and investigation closed the highway for six hours Tuesday.

Southampton Town police have impounded both vehicles that were involved in a collision Tuesday on County Road 39 — which resulted in a stretch of the four-lane highway being closed for six hours — as the investigation into the cause of the crash continues.

Police said the crash, involving a 2012 Mercedes Benz and a 2004 Western Star truck, was reported at 1:56 p.m. on County Road 39 near the Inlet Road intersection. The collision caused substantial damage to both vehicles and debris and vehicle fluids were spread on all lanes of the highway, according to police.

The was called in to extricate the driver of the Mercedes Benz, who was then treated by and airlifted by Suffolk County police helicopter to Stony Brook University Medical Center, police said.

Police did not reveal the driver's condition.

The driver of the truck refused medical attention, according to police.

The New York State Police Forensic Unit and Motor Carrier Unit assisted in the investigation of the accident scene, and the Suffolk County Department of Public Works cleared the roadway, police said. The highway remained closed until the investigation was complete and County Road 39 was deemed safe.

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During the time the highway was closed between Hill Station Road and Exit 66, traffic was diverted around the accident. The other main artery in Southampton, Montauk Highway, was also backed up for hours. Many drivers had their batteries die or their cars run out of gas as they sat in traffic. Residents of the Hill Street area handed out food and water to motorists.

Many commuters stayed behind in Southampton Village for hours, waiting for traffic to clear up before heading home.

Zippo July 25, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Whose job is it to investigate the investigators? God forbid we have a car accident with more than 2 cars, the entire island will be shut down for weeks.
Hope and Change July 25, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I have failed miserably. Vote for Romney.
b. hardy July 25, 2012 at 05:32 PM
WE NEED A LIGHT AT HILL STATION ROAD! It would help slow traffic coming off Sunrise and give people trying to pull out of businesses from Hill Station to the college light a fighting chance. Anyone driving CR 39 is risking their life especially with the entitled citidiots pushing their way through the maze. Additionally, road construction on CR39 and Montauk Highway at the height of summer traffic season??? really??? Did the same guy that forgot to water the trees at the new sump think of that?
Meg July 25, 2012 at 08:36 PM
I agree. Wish the police notified the town workers who at the same time blocked montauk hwy to do construction. We all were funneled there, then stopped! Perfect (traffic) storm!
anon July 25, 2012 at 08:44 PM
If you're not born and raised in Westhampton and eastward, you do not belong in the Hamptons.
Frank Footer July 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Totally absurd that it took that long to clear things up what a joke
John July 25, 2012 at 09:30 PM
You are absolutely correct, but they didn't want a light there because it would slow up commerce. Commerce can go unimpeded at 65 mph in a 35 mph zone. Let's remember that townspeople.
Dennis July 25, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Anon, many would argue Westhampton isn't the Hamptons.
A voice July 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM
anon must have been one of the inept cops or officials that bungled the whole situation. Totally absurd that this situation warranted total closure as long as it did. Maybe if it had been a chemical /fuel spill I could see a sustained delay. God help us should we have needed medical response if you lived in the backed up area. This is more fuel for the discussion that Suffolk County Police should have dominion over all the territory.
Barbara Fiore July 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM
This only proves how cut off we can be in time of accidents or anything that can block both hwys.Maybe it is time to start planning another way off this end of the island like a bridges shelter island ect. Another thing why didn't the work crew clear the road instead of contributing to the back-up. Also is there an emergency plan and if so why wasn't it it used. If there in not one we better get one in place real quick . As for what I did ? I worked . Several people called ,and told me about the back up. I would rather be productive and have something to do ,then sit in traffic as some had to do. One person I know of said it took 5 hrs to get home others only 3 hrs for a 20 min drive.
Barbara Fiore July 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I don't know if many people remember what it was like in the 50's. It was not the good old days that many remember in many ways. It was poor. The few people that came out ,came out from Memorial Day till Labor day .There weren't many big homes out here and the ones that were here were the estates on the ocean. There was not a lot of work in the winter. My father was out of work many winters. If there was no building work or if they did not get a house closed in ,there was no winter work for the builders or his men. There was no food stamps , workman's comp, un-employment, clinic's, food pantry's, ect. So be glad that you live in the Hampton's , any Hampton. For we live better for it. You only have to look at some of the towns up island . With the closed stores and factories. So for me if you are not born here, so what. I for one welcome you to the Hampton 's even if it is only as far as Westhampton. Enjoy your summer with patience.
Dr. Sarah Alward July 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM
Does anyone know the condition of those involved in the accident?
Janice July 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM
If it was YOUR accident and you were the one airlifted, you would want a thorough investigation, right? Give the cops a break it is how they are trained. To be thorough. Not to do things half @$$ed. If it was u or a family member you would want a thorough investigation.
Algebra July 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM
A voice, It WAS a fuel spill as the fuel tank on the truck was cracked open in the collision. The accident was handled by NYSP, and if you take 3 westbound lanes at the start of peak west bound traffic, add in delays on Montauk Hwy due to construction.....well do the math. This was a perfect strom of traffic. As we say in the Hamptons "doo-doo occurs"
Jaguar-Guy July 26, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Great post BHO. You did build all those roads and bridges we owe you for so much.
Jaguar-Guy July 26, 2012 at 01:02 PM
5 hours - way too long.
al July 26, 2012 at 01:29 PM
what's so great about westhampton? if it wasn't for the citifolks you'd still be milking cows, if you could find any.
justbreath July 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Janice, very good point. But there should be a faster way to be redirected, it's scary to think what could happen it there were to be a real need for evacuation.
Flyguy July 26, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Anon. I can see how being born and raised here makes one feel as though there is an invasion of sorts in the summer that disturbs the peace and tranquility of the Hamptons. However, some of those that work and live in NYC truly value it just as much. Those that feel entitled tend to take it for granted and create a bad vibe for those that live here all year round. It seems like that is what is upsetting you. We are all not like that. My suggestion is for "out of towers" to not act like spoiled brats, recognize that even though we own or rent summer homes here that there is a different dynamic for the year round residents and we should respect that and bring it down a little to the slower pace. After all that is why we come here to escape. And for those that were born and raised here or now live here year round, realize that there is a symbiotic relationship that financially keeps the Hamptons a viable place to live and work. We all contribute, and I love it here just as much!!!
G-men July 26, 2012 at 02:21 PM
To you all evacuation worriers: IF there was an evacuation of the East End (even though there has never been one in the past - you are required to worry about it), then there would be no EASTBOUND traffic allowed since everyone is to be evacuated, right? Soooooo, all roads would be used for WESTBOUND traffic so that they can meet up with the huge traffic jam that will exist farther up the island. There are only 2 roads in or out of the South Fork. When the largest one is closed for 6 hours, chaos will ensue no matter what the police do.
Tracy C July 26, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Buy a boat. No evacuation worries. We do live on an ISLAND. Pray the people involved have a full recovery.
Barbara Fiore July 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM
good point
Carol Curreri July 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I live on CR39 a few houses east of Hills Station Rd. I heard a very loud boom and thought my son had driven into my pantry shelves and kitchen wall!!! Couldn't imagine why the road was clos I agree that there should be a light at Hills Station Road because hardly anyone slows down at the 45 or 35 mph signs, like I do.No place for the police car to hide and catch the speeders, it seems. Too bad becauethey could have made a lot of money.
Carol Curreri July 27, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Need a s in the word because in the last sentence, please, before you post it.
Carol Curreri July 27, 2012 at 05:17 PM
No other comment at this time.
Art Lynch July 28, 2012 at 03:08 PM
I was leaving Hampton Bays going home to East Hampton when I got caught up in that mess. After what seem like an eternity (and seeing a number of eastbound vehicles cross the median to turn back west..gotta watch out for PD when you do that, folks..), I stayed in my lane and inched along to the North Road exit, where police detoured everyone to Montauk Hwy. (By the time I got onto that road, the workers on the construction site had just finished, but the traffic in both directions was still very slow; bumper to bumper. I guess I had an advantage of sorts; I'm retired and was fortunately not in a great hurry to get home (though, in retrospect, I regret not having my cellphone with me.) I decided on simple "patience", which is not always one of my strong points. It worked for me, though, and I listened to the folks at WLNG, who actually (seriously) advised drivers to head to the North Fork and take Rt. 114 across Shelter Island to get to East Hampton! IMHO, they were not mistaken! But I'm sorry for all the drivers who were "inconvenienced" by events. "Monday-morning quarterbacking" and/or second-guessing the emergency personnel (police, fire, ambulance, helicopter, etc.) is also not one of my talents. I have to admit that my decision to be "patient" worked for me. I'm just glad I wasn't one of the emergency workers at that MVA scene. To "A Voice": You think SCPD would have done better??? NOT! Bigger ain't necessarily better! ...not on THESE roads.
Art Lynch July 28, 2012 at 03:12 PM
To anyone who cares, I understand that the occupant of the car was seriously injured and was sent to Stony Brook. The truck's driver was injured less severely. The debris was scattered on all four lanes and on the median. As far as I know, all the injured survived, thank God.
Bill Hazelton August 02, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Oh puhlease. This non event was a fender bender whereby one guy walked away and the other guy was airlifted due to the standing regs whereby head injuries are airlifted to Stony Brook. Next time, perhaps the Keystones can keep the asphalt open and not act like extras on TJ Hooker.

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