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Jan 13, 2012 9:55 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Veteran News Correspondent Died In Amagansett Crash

Jan 17, 2012 5:05 PM

An accident Friday morning at the intersection of Cross Highway and Route 27 in Amagansett claimed the life of Richard D. Threlkeld, 74, a veteran news correspondent for CBS and ABC who lived in East Hampton.

According to East Hampton Town Police, Mr. Threlkeld was driving north on Cross Highway at 8:18 a.m. when his car, a Mini Cooper, collided with a propane tanker driven by Earl Fryberger Jr. that was eastbbound on Route 27.

Mr. Threlkeld’s car came to rest on the lawn of the American Legion Post, and traffic was rerouted while the scene was cleared. Mr. Threlkeld, who was alone in his car, was taken by Amagansett Fire Department ambulance to Southampton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Mr. Fryberger, 57, who lives in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, was not injured.

Mr. Threlkeld was a writer, reporter, anchor and bureau chief for CBS news for more than 25 years, according to his biography at the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement. According to an obituary published in The New York Times on Saturday, he covered, beginning in the mid 1960s, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the kidnapping and trial of Patricia Hearst, the invasions of Panama and Grenada, the Persian Gulf War, the war in Lebanon and the Middle East peace negotiations as well as the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Mr. Threlkeld also reported on seven presidential elections and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

He left Saigon as it fell in 1975 on one of last helicopters taking off from the American embassy, according to The Times.

Mr. Threlkeld worked for CBS, including on its “Sunday Morning” show and as a co-anchor with Lesley Stahl on “CBS Morning News,” from 1965 to 1982. He then spent seven years at ABC News, where he was a correspondent for “World News Tonight” and had a weekly feature called “Status Reports,” for which he won several awards. He returned to CBS from 1989 to 1998.

His book “Dispatches From The Former Evil Empire was published in 2001.

Born on Nov. 30, 1937, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he grew up in Barrington, Illinois. He graduated from Ripon College in Wisconsin in 1960 with a degree in political science and history, and the following year earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Mr. Threlkeld is survived by his wife, Betsy Aaron, by two children, Susan Paulukonis and Julia Threlkeld, and by two grandchildren, as well as a brother, Robert Threlkeld.

East Hampton Town Police on Friday said that the two vehicles involved in the accident would undergo safety inspections and that the accident was under investigation. They have requested that anyone who may have witnessed it call the East Hampton Town Police Department at 537-7575.

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At least accoding to wikipedia, the victim is a former news reporter with both ABC News and then with CBS news. Condolences to his family.
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Jan 13, 12 1:07 PM
Richard spent considerable time in my living room delivering the news. Feels like I lost a friend. RIP Richard and condolences to the family.
By loading... (601), quiogue on Jan 13, 12 1:43 PM
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Jan 13, 12 3:39 PM
I have done work for him at his house for many years. He was an absolute gentleman and just a genuinely nice guy. He will be missed. RIP.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Jan 14, 12 2:30 PM
A great newsman and a friend to many who were his greatest fans. I feel bad for the driver of the tanker that Richard hit knowing that a death was caused. I read that he hit the tanker which may have been a medical problem which caused this terrible accident. RIP newsman,
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Jan 14, 12 5:30 PM
Condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Threlkeld.
By Montaukette (46), Waterland on Jan 22, 12 8:42 PM