Quiogue Man Arrested After Hitting Utility Poles With Car, Fleeing Scene


A Quiogue man was arrested at his home on Friday afternoon about two hours after authorities said he crashed his car into a pair of utility poles on Montauk Highway in his hometown—knocking out power to approximately 250 customers—before fleeing the scene on foot.

Coleman McCarthy, 48, was driving his silver Mercedes-Benz west on Montauk Highway at around 1:35 p.m. when he veered onto the shoulder, striking two utility poles along the north side of the road near the intersection with South Country Road, according to Southampton Town Police. The one-car accident knocked one of the poles to the ground and felled wires along both lanes, forcing the closure of the road in both directions for approximately six hours.

Police said Mr. McCarthy then exited the vehicle, which was registered to him, and ran into the woods. Responding officers located him almost two hours later, at his home on Quiogue, where he was arrested and charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor, and leaving the scene of an accident, a violation.

Mr. McCarthy, whose license was revoked last year after he was involved in another crash in which he did not have insurance, fled the accident scene because he was “scared,” Town Police Sergeant James Cavanagh said on Friday. He added that officers did not know what caused the accident, or why Mr. McCarthy did not immediately report the crash.

Mr. McCarthy did not give officers a statement and could not be reached for comment.

Mark Gross, a spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority, said the utility restored power to all of the affected customers by later that evening.

Police blocked both lanes of Montauk Highway, between Meetinghouse and Aspatuck roads, shortly after the accident, and they remained closed until around 7:45 p.m. on Friday while LIPA crews replaced the poles and repaired the wires. Mr. Gross explained that, according to policy, the utility could bill Mr. McCarthy about $6,000, the cost of repairing the poles and restringing the wires.

After his arrest, Mr. McCarthy was transported to police headquarters in Hampton Bays for processing and released on his own recognizance late Friday afternoon, according to police. He did not suffer any injuries in the crash and did not have any passengers at the time, they said.

The Westhampton Beach Fire Department responded to the scene.

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