A head-on collision on County Road 39 in Southampton on Friday sent four people to the hospital and shut down three lanes of the highway for about three hours.
The crash, between an SUV and a small sedan, occurred shortly before 5:30 a.m. just west of the intersection with Hill Station Road, according to Chris Brenner of the Southampton Fire Department. The drivers of both vehicles had to be extricated from their vehicles by first responders.
On Tuesday, Southampton Town Police Sergeant Michael Burns said Daniel Claud, 18, of Southampton was driving the sedan with a passenger in the car when he strayed from his lane into oncoming traffic.
Mr. Claud was flown from the scene by a Suffolk County Medevac helicopter to an unspecified hospital. His passenger, as well as the two occupants of the other car, a Nissan SUV, were taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital with minor injuries. None was identified by police.
“As of now, we believe at least one of the drivers fell asleep,” Southampton Town Police Sergeant Todd Spencer said the day of the accident, before noting that no official report has been filed yet.
At print time, the official report still had not been filed, according to Sgt. Burns, whose information was based on the accident report. The sergeant said he could not say whether the investigation of the accident is ongoing or if any charges were being pursued. “I don’t really know how much more is going to be put into this,” he said.
The westbound lanes of County Road 39 were closed between Hill Station Road and North Road; one eastbound lane was kept open. Crews were on scene for two and a half hours, and all lanes reopened by 8:15 a.m.
While fire crews were at the scene, a tractor-trailer eastbound on Sunrise Highway had a mechanical issue, causing a tire to blow out and igniting the truck’s brakes. Firefighters extinguished the smoldering brakes.