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Aug 6, 2016 1:56 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: East Hampton Couple Struck By Car Saturday On Sunrise Highway, Driver Charged With Driving On Drugs

Sunrise Highway was closed for several hours on Saturday after an accident that sent three people to the hospital and snarled traffic in several hamlets for most of the day. MRW
Aug 7, 2016 11:25 AM

UPDATE: Sunday, August 7, 11 a.m.

An East Hampton couple has been identified as the pair injured when hit by a car while standing on the side of Sunrise Highway on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the car that hit them has been charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, according to New York State Police.

The couple, Crystal Hayes and Christopher King, had stopped their own vehicle on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes of the highway at about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday to take video of a small brush fire that had broken out in the woods on the opposite side of the highway.

While they were standing beside their vehicle, another car, operated by Ulyana Yaremko, 20, of Hampton Bays, went out of control for reasons unrelated to the couple's presence, skidded across the roadway and struck them, police said.

Ms. Hayes, 34, suffered traumatic but non-life-threatening injuries to her leg and head. A Suffolk County Police medevac helicopter landed on the highway and flew her to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was listed in serious but stable condition, police said.

Mr. King, 38, was taken by ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and Ms. Yaremko was taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital, where she was treated and released into police custody.

She is charged with DWAI, a misdemeanor, and was held overnight to be arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court.

ORIGINAL STORY: Saturday, August 6

Traffic between Westhampton and Hampton Bays is snarled on Saturday afternoon following a car accident that sent three people to area hospitals with injuries, one of them serious, and has closed Sunrise Highway between East Quogue and Hampton Bays while New York State Troopers conduct a criminal investigation.

The accident happened shortly before noon on Saturday morning on Sunrise Highway between the Hampton Bays and East Quogue exits. Two people, a man and a woman who police have not identified, stopped their Jeep on the side of Route 27 East to take pictures of a small brush fire that had broken out in the woods on the west side of the highway.

As they were standing on the side of the road another eastbound car lost control for what seems to be an unrelated reason, police said, and careened across the roadway and struck the couple and struck their vehicle.

The two people in the Jeep were both injured, the woman seriously. She was taken by Suffolk County medevac helicopter to Stony Brook University hospital. The man was taken by ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center, police said.

The driver of the silver Pontiac coupe that struck them, a woman who has not been identified, also suffered minor injuries and was taken to Southampton Hospital, according to State Troopers on the scene.

Troopers said there is a potential criminal charge to be filed in the incident but would not discuss what the charges may be.

The highway was closed in both directions for about two hours and the eastbound lanes remained close at about 2 p.m.

Traffic between Quogue and Hampton Bays is snarled on almost all main streets and backroads.

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By scalloper (17), quogue on Aug 6, 16 2:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
this is one exit closed and traffic is gridlock from hampton bays to eastport. This is another lesson to our politicians that plans need to be put in place in the event of a closure/evacuation. We have enough police agencies to cover the major intersections and still answer 911 calls. The major intersections should have police directing traffic through a blinking yellow. The light at bellows pond/24 was cycling when there was no need. The town has a "traffic engineer" on the books, what does ...more
By politcal pawn (121), Flanders on Aug 6, 16 4:48 PM
3 members liked this comment
I was returning from Riverhead heading South on 24 and that was backed up as well. Regional paralysis. Can't blame the traffic engineer if there is no political will to do anything. This as been going on for years. ATH was going to put together a task force to resolve this issue.She must have realized that herding cats might be more fun or running for Congress..:-) As for the current board...Well you know where their heads are at.
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Aug 6, 16 5:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
There really is very little that can be done. The Hamptons are too close to NYC and all its wealth. If folks were willing to endure gridlock on a 2-lane road to get out there they will endure gridlock on a 4-lane road. Any additional capacity will just get absorbed and more folks will come out, including day trippers. More rail service might help.
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Aug 7, 16 1:07 PM
I went to Riverhead, then attempted to get back to Southampton...drove out to Greenport and took the Shelter Island ferry over to the southside. Stopped at the Magic Fountain in Mattituck and had an ice cream LOL somethnig good came out of it and a nice ferry ride :)
By scalloper (17), quogue on Aug 6, 16 8:13 PM
So glad "something good" came out of your delayed day.
By ShinnecockHills (5), Southampton on Aug 11, 16 12:37 PM
What does Tom Neely do??? Does he have a degree in traffic engineering???
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 6, 16 11:55 PM
Collects a pretty fat paycheck to sit around for 7 years to think hmm....I can't do anything about the traffic. Hope nobody finds out....
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Aug 8, 16 11:58 AM
We passed this accident on our way back from Riverhead and didn't realize it was so bad, as the cars hadn't sustained too much damage. Had no idea people had been hit while outside of the car. That's awful. Hope the woman from the Jeep recovers quickly. We'll be thinking of her.
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Aug 7, 16 7:49 AM
I really happened he.p arrived soon. This season has been Jon stop for or volunteers and out newly paid ambulance staff! Happy to have you
By Woods woman (145), East hampton on Aug 7, 16 10:42 PM
Why was the ramp leading from Rt 24 to 27 West not blocked of during the closure,drivers including myself were allowed on to to 27w only to be directed by a civilian who was frantically waving his hands to leave 27 at next exit causing grid lock on 24 south.No Police were observed during this chaotic and dangerous situation.I wish the people in the accident a speedy recovery.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Aug 7, 16 8:32 AM
Southampton Patch has reported about the couple's GoFundMe page. Could the Press & 27east add more info about this GoFundMe page to increase visibility?

Also, I'd be curious to know if Crystal (the woman from the Jeep) had insurance. If not, then she'll need much more than the GoFundMe page requests, and I encourage others to please, please donate. SH Press - please dig a bit further so we can help this member of our community who was injured due to a tragic accident caused by someone ...more
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Aug 8, 16 11:20 PM
The go fund me page is Chris and Crystal's Recovery
https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/2wmqhkcc# thank you for asking.
By bking (1), Sag Harbor on Aug 10, 16 7:48 PM
just a few years ago traffic might have been directed to a shoulder, an outside lane, but would have been kept moving, albeit slowly. These days, police close the entire road on a moment's notice, with no regard for the local population that needs to get to work, doctor appointments, etc. I know the road needs closure to land a helicopter, but really -- hours> Happens on 27/39 far too often.
and one other point -- dont pull over on 27 to take a picture -- its not too bright and very dangerous. ...more
By fourteenwest (4), sag harbor on Aug 10, 16 10:04 AM
To be fair, fourteenwest, the man in the jeep said they pulled over to see if there was anyone who needed help in the fire. We were driving by and also immediately thought the fire could have been a car crashed in the woods or something, so this is not an implausible story at all. These people are going through enough right now. They don't need strangers on 27east.com saying they're "not too bright." Also, the woman who hit them was on drugs. She should be the person we're scolding, not the people ...more
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Aug 10, 16 10:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
Plenty of help was already on the scene. They really weren't too bright exiting their car on 27. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 16 7:06 AM
dnice, that's entirely false, and you should really have some compassion. When we passed the scene, the accident had already happened. On the side of the highway with the fire, a brush truck had just arrived and there were no other emergency vehicles in sight except for the police vehicle that was on the eastbound side of the highway at the site of the vehicle collision. As we continued driving east, we passed 4-5 more emergency vehicles (including another brush truck) but this was at least 10-15 ...more
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Aug 14, 16 9:32 AM
An accident like this requires a full reconstruction. That means a survey of the scene, the use of a transit which needs to be set in a highway lane at times, and scene markers.

Frankly at such a time, who gives a [insert expletive] what you need to do.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 15, 16 6:54 PM