A man was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital Saturday night after the scooter he was riding was hit by a State Department of Transportation truck on Route 114 in North Haven.
According to Southampton Town Police, the crash occurred at about 10:15 p.m. when Scott L. Rascelles, 44, of Sag Harbor was riding his scooter north on Ferry Road in the bike lane. At the same time, a state DOT six-wheeled International dump truck used to clear debris from roads also was headed northbound, parallel to Mr. Rascelles, when the driver, William Gonzalez, 59, of Riverhead spotted a dead deer that his crew had been called to clean up, police said. The carcass was in the bike lane occupied by Mr. Rascelles.
“The truck driver just didn’t see him. Then the scooter guy was trying to avoid the deer, and they just kind of collided,” said Southampton Town Police Sergeant John Boden. “Luckily, they were only going about 10 or 15 miles per hour at the time.”
Sgt. Boden said the scooter was destroyed, and Mr. Rascelles suffered minor injuries, including a laceration to the head.
Mr. Rascelles was wearing a helmet and did not want medical assistance, according to Sgt. Boden, but the protocol when someone suffers any kind of head trauma in an accident requires emergency personnel to call in a Medevac helicopter to take the victim to the hospital. Mr. Rascelles was taken to Havens Beach by an ambulance, where Suffolk County Medevac had landed.
DOT spokeswoman Pat Audinot confirmed the crash involved a DOT vehicle but offered a slightly different take on the event. She said the accident occurred when Mr. Rascelles “struck the side step of one of our highway trucks while it was stopped, currently dispatched on a call to pick up a dead deer in the road.”
No charges were filed against either driver, and the road remained open, although there were long delays.