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Jul 29, 2013 8:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Early Monday Crash Closes County Road 39 Once Again

Jul 29, 2013 1:17 PM

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.

Southampton Town Police have released the names of the drivers of the Hampton Jitney bus and the garbage truck that collided Monday morning on County Road 39 in Southampton.

Ezio Vessella, the 45-year-old driver of the garbage truck, was taken by Medevac to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was treated for what authorities called non-life-threatening injuries.

The bus driver, Quincy Laffiter, 53, of Centeral Islip, was taken to Southampton Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. He was the only person on the bus at the time of the accident.

Previous reports that the garbage truck involved belonged to Winters Brothers Waste Services were incorrect as the vehicle belongs to the Bay Shore-based National Waste Service.

The garbage truck, which was heading westbound on County Road 39, hit the bus at 4:37 a.m. as it was pulling out of the Hampton Jitney parking lot near the David Whites Lane intersection to head east, Southampton Town Police Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa said.

No criminal charges were expected to be filed, Sgt. Costa said.

The road was officially reopened at 9:11 a.m. Other responding agencies included the Suffolk County Police Motor Carrier Unit, the Southampton Village Police and the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, among others.

UPDATE: 9:38 a.m.

All traffic lanes are open on County Road 39 following a non-lethal motor vehicle accident near the intersection with David Whites Lane this morning.

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.

An emergency worker on the scene identified the dump truck involved in a non-lethal crash with a Hampton Jitney bus Monday morning on County Road 39 as a Winters Brothers garbage truck. The worker also said there appeared to be no passengers on the bus at the time of the crash.

According to the worker, the accident occurred near the Hampton Jitney office near the intersection of the highway and David Whites Lane. The metal forks used to hoist dumpsters penetrated the side of the bus, the worker said.

Representatives of Progressive Waste Solutions, formerly Winters Brothers, were not immediately available for comment.


For the second time in less than a week, an accident involving a Hampton Jitney bus closed part of County Road 39 early Monday morning.

This time, the crash occurred at 4:37 a.m. at the intersection with David Whites Lane when a dump truck crashed into a Jitney, Town Police said. Two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash; one was taken to Southampton Hospital for treatment, and the other was flown by Medevac helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital.

That section of County Road 39 remains closed to all traffic as of 8:30 a.m. while the crash is investigated. The road is expected to reopen soon.

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Roads been closed since 4:37 - Press doesn't report it until 8:44. Can we agree there's room for improvement?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 9:12 AM
2 members liked this comment
No we can't.

Give it a break Nature, you are asking too much for a local paper with limited financial resources IMO. If you can do better, please start your own website. Really . . .

PS -- How can you be so impatient to type, when you expect drivers on 39a to throttle back their impatience?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 10:02 AM
I have no idea what your PS even means (IMO)

And no, I'm not asking too much. All it takes is someone to listen to the police scanner and make a post on their website - or have the police contact them when a major roadway is closed down and have someone post it on the website. Did it need to be posted at 4:30 AM? No, but you're telling me NO ONE at the paper could post something until 8:44?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 10:10 AM
Was it possible to post something earlier? Of course. You are asking too much of the Press.

It was early on a Monday morning just after a July weekend. The reporters and editors have lives to live, too, you know? Some are probably on vacation.

If you can do better, do it!

Did you tune in to WLNG during all of this personal urgency BTW.

PS -- Perhaps you need to re-read the PS with MORE PATIENCE? I think you can connect the dots.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 12:26 PM
And Nature, in case you need to be reminded, the world does not owe you anything.

As Mr. Z said in the other article with his very cogent post:


If you would like his words posted here verbatim, please advise.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 12:28 PM
PBR - perhaps you should revist your disdain toward 'ad hominem attacks". Seems as though you are a bit rankled this afternoon.

"in case you need to be reminded, the world does not owe you anything". When did I ask for anything? Or State the world did? I asked a simple question which was, "Can we agree there's room for improvement?" I didn't accuse anyone of anything - just asked a question.

As Metsfan so eloquently points out at the bottom of this thread - the Press is in the ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 12:58 PM
The Press reported the news, just not up to YOUR impatient expectations. It is a weekly publication, and doing a fantastic job with breaking news. See reply to Metsfan also please. You guys are expecting way too much of a good local business IMO.

PS -- If another poster is being impatient and unreasonalbe, it is not "ad hominem" to point this out. Please look up the term.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 1:15 PM
PS (IMO - Have a nice weekend) I was referring to this: And Nature, in case you need to be reminded, the world does not owe you anything.

BTW - what good is "breaking news" when it's 4 hours old and everyone's already on the roads?
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 1:17 PM
No traffic control no major injuries and four hrs later the road is still closed. Tow the damn trucks out of the road and open the road! The Jitney yet again looks like it was aggressively driving. People need to go to work and make a living. The fireman yet again did a great job stablizing the situation but not one cop re routing traffic. This sucks!
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 29, 13 9:12 AM
Another paper reports someone was airlifted to Stony Brook. It's my understanding that a thorough investigation needs to occur because a)it involves a bus (NTSB) and b) there's the potential for a death in which case thes accident would need to be re-constructed and all of those protocols go into effect.

Also, where's the evidence that they jitney was "yet again" driving aggressively? Last weeks accident involved a driver crossing into the wrong lane. This accident has no information ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 9:26 AM
The jitney was hit by the dump truck which as doing 60mph in a 35mph zone..... Also a company which has a very bad history with speeding, accidents, and safety violations.
By Jamango (2), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 9:40 AM
The dump truck company has the bad record.
By Jamango (2), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 9:41 AM
The road gets cleared when the Fed say it gets cleared.

And trust me they don't care what you think...
Jul 29, 13 12:19 PM appended by Mr. Z
BTW Chief, aren't you one of the people who decries living in a "nanny state"?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 29, 13 12:19 PM
3 members liked this comment
The westbound land the bus was traveling in is 45mph. The east bound land is 35mph. Jitneys routinely pull out in front of other vehicles from there SH hub. Both were at fault, a professional driver should be able to judge speed better than that. Jitneys also have trouble maintaining their lanes and side of the road. This is from my personal experience and observation.
Jul 30, 13 7:48 PM appended by ICE
westbound lane***
By ICE (1214), Southampton on Jul 30, 13 7:48 PM
Chief1 - how do you know there were no major injuries? You can't just 'tow the damn trucks' when a commercial vehicle is involved, the DOT has to investigate and they cant be towed by any company other than the DOT. The police officers helped the situation a lot and made the correct decision on closing the road so that EMS and emergency personnel were safe while on scene.
By Southampton810 (10), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 9:26 AM
3 members liked this comment
Beg to differ, chief can build a new highway from the canal to Montauk ("no problem"), so towing trucks before an investigation is nothing. The law doesn't stand in his way at all.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 10:11 AM
The road doesn't get cleared until the feds say it gets cleared.

Chief knows everything and absolutely nothing at the same time.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 29, 13 11:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
No local police doing anything to help commuters? Isn't this a matter of public
safety? Every available local policeman should have helped inform drivers of the
situation and direct them to alternate routes. In addition, there just has to be a plan
to move crashed vehicles off the road faster. Somebody needs to make a plan and a protocol and start helping those of us who live here. Accidents happen but the aftermath seems to be a real problem that could be ameliorated. Who is ...more
By localcitizen (110), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 10:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just how many do you think comprise "every available officer"?
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 11:05 AM
We have an "Ejection" in November. Lets use it!
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Jul 29, 13 12:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
This lack of police rerouting traffic sounds like a pissing contest to me. As if somebody is mad about something having to do with CR 39 or with traffic detail and will not deploy traffic rerouters.
By btdt (449), water mill on Jul 29, 13 10:39 AM
When will SH Town start enforcing the speed limit on this road? After someone is killed? TOO LATE! The speeding on this road is getting out of hand. Cars, trucks buses and motorcycles fly by me like I'm standing still. I'm just wishing a cop is ahead to give them a ticket, but I know as well as the speeders there is no one ahead to enforce the speed. It's time to take action.
By pcone (28), hampton bays on Jul 29, 13 11:30 AM
2 members liked this comment
Still waiting for the Supervisor's LEADERSHIP here, before the November EJECTION.

PS -- BTW today marks the 54th week since Sister Walsh was mowed down and left to die on the side of the road, without any recent public statements by the authorities. Rest in Peace.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 12:33 PM
Breaking news report didn't have what lanes were closed, what direction. That was four hours after crash. PBR why are you sticking up for the press, they are in the news business, there is no sleeping in the news business,especially if you want everyone on the east end to tune into you when something happens. There seems to be a certain callous attitude to rerouting or expediting traffic in these events. Especially officers at critical intersections to help flow of traffic. WLNG great advice was ...more
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 12:45 PM
2 members liked this comment
I won't repeat all the reasons posted above for why it is not reasonable to expect the Press to cover everything all the time. Connect the dots.

The Press does a much better job IMO than any other East End publication, including the Patch sites which are financed (at a great loss) by aol. BTW have you noticed that the Patch sites have been throttled back in terms of breaking news?

Your comments about the SHT and Village PD are well taken, and the Supervisor and the Mayor should ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 1:00 PM
I'd suggest that anyone who is unhappy with the road closures or notification system for same accept the responsibility for their own transit themselves. Arm your vehicle with the highest level, traffic condition reporting GPS and scanners accessing state and local police, fire departments and ambulances. Let local weekly newspapers report weekly and consider anything more instantaneous a bonus. Let police agencies deal with police matters and not act as traffic or weather reporting agencies. ...more
By VOS (1241), WHB on Jul 29, 13 1:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Since when is traffic not a police matter?
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 1:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
So what do the cars that say "Traffic Control" at the Police Station do? Is that a euphamism for something?

And I'd argue that it's not a minor issue of "traffic" or that people are unhappy with the "notification system". I think the issue is that twice in a week's time, one of two major thoroughfares has been shut down during the morning commute. This causes severe traffic problems and can have serious ramifications if other emergencies in the area occur (think police/fire/ambulance ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 3:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Sorry no excuse for not doing your job properly. as a former business owner in the village,all hands on deck during on summer, there were no "off" hours. I understand at four a.m., not 8:30 a.m.I think many people accept the status quo as acceptable. I believe things can be changed for the better and sometimes with just a little extra effort from those in power to do so. Since we have a unique traffic situation out here, it is the investigators and police that need to adapt after caring for the ...more
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 29, 13 5:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jul 29, 13 4:49 PM
1 member liked this comment


for the course correction.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 4:51 PM
Does anyone drive at 35 MPH on this stretch of CR39?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Jul 29, 13 8:10 PM
Admittedly 40, religiously.

And, people blow past me...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 29, 13 8:41 PM
Why are people being medevaced with non-life threatening injuries? Is there a law against using an ambulance to transport people with non life threatening injuries from Southampton to Stony Brook?

And how come the police can use temp summer employees in the villages to issue traffic tickets but can't use those temp employees to reroute traffic?
By btdt (449), water mill on Jul 29, 13 8:20 PM
As has been explained on other articles (and hopefully I'm interpreting properly) EMTs are trained to make a call on ambulance or helicopter based on the severity of the crash and initial injuries. So in this instance, the garbage truck collided (t-boned) another large commercial vehicle and the driver likely had a severe (or potentially severe) head injury. It takes a lot of scans/tests/x-rays to determine the true severity so why take the chance and drive them to SH when they can fly them to ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 29, 13 10:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
I drive 35 mph on County Road 39 because I received a speeding ticket many years ago while driving 55 mph. I was passed by other drivers yet I was pulled over and ticketed right in front of the Lobster Inn. Fast drivers, slow drivers and bad drivers cause accidents. I try to be a cautious driver, yet I don't ever feel safe in a car on Long Island, especially out east. Imagine if less people took the Jitney and drove themselves - more chaos and congested roads. Don't blame the police, the politicians ...more
By Out East (3), Southampton on Jul 29, 13 10:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have a comment and a few questions.

1. The bus driver had to make a judgement about how much time he needed to pull out and cross one lane of oncoming traffic and clear a very large vehicle from that lane and at least be in the center lane or hopefully the east bound lane before being hit. If oncoming vehicles are travelling at the 35 mph speed limit they are travelling about 50 feet/second and if the bus driver estimated 10 seconds to clear the lane (that seems very quick to me) the ...more
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on Jul 29, 13 10:45 PM
This is for Mr Z and his comment saying that the feds clear the highway. The Suffolk County motor carrier division does the investigation of the truck. They are actually smart enough to tow the truck to the shoulder and inspect the truck. You guys are just plain ignorant on the clearing of accidents. I have watched horrible sccidents on the expressway get cleared in no time and proper traffic control implemented immediately. As far as the jitney goes I'm sure they know their buses are speeding. ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 30, 13 7:59 AM
Chief - Jitney was pulling out of the parking lot. How could it possibly have been speeding? Additionally, the Dump Truck was cited for being overweight (meaning it takes longer for it to slow down when the brakes are applied).

The other Jitney crash involved a vehicle hitting it after crossing traffic lanes. I get you don't like the Jitney - but truthiness and lies aren't much different
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 30, 13 9:17 AM
The facts may be too confusing . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 30, 13 10:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
I didn't mean the jitney was speeding this time but they are going to kill someone with high rates of speed. The jitney is at fault they pulled out in front of the truck. As far as overweight goes was the over weight over the gvw or did it not have a permit to run heavy? Just because your over weight in NY doesn't mean the truck is unsafe it could mean it wasn't registered correctly. The accident on Thursday was a woman crossing the double yellow, but there is a big differance having a bus braking ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 30, 13 11:10 AM
For you to state conclusively that the Jitney was at fault, you must have been an eye witness, and observed:

-- truck headlight status (vs. time of day darkness at 4:37 AM EDT)
-- truck's speed
-- truck's route (from 39a to the east or David White's Lane)
-- truck driver's sobriety/driving record/vision/etc. (could he have stopped?)
-- ditto for Jitney "facts"

Since you were at the scene, please tell us what you saw.

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 30, 13 11:24 AM
Just because it's a county road doesn't mean the feds can show up. Accidents happen to the best of us, because even the best fall down on occasion.

Part of me for guessing that they did show up...
Jul 30, 13 12:31 PM appended by Mr. Z
Didn't proofread the speech to text: Just because it's a county road, doesn't mean DOT won't show up. Pardon me for guessing they did...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Jul 30, 13 12:31 PM
Yes Chief, Jitney records all the info as to when their buses are speeding. They do that so that if their buses ever get into an accident, where they are at fault, they have documentation to provide the attorney that is going to bring a suit against them.
Using your theory that is entire possible. You never cease to amaze wit the crap you make up.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 31, 13 12:56 AM
Might this be a good time for the NTSB and/or Suffolk County to audit ALL of the Jitneys' black boxes? Since the highest speed limit on Long Island is 55 MPH (correct me if this is wrong), anything over 55 would raise some red flags. Anything over 65 MPH would sound alarms IMO, especially if the speed can be correlated to a specific road with a speed limit lower than 55.

How detailed is the data in the black boxes?

Just sayin' . . . fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice . . ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 31, 13 8:01 AM
Probably would need a search warrant to look @ the black boxes.. I don't think they can just do an "audit"
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jul 31, 13 8:04 AM
Do you think they track information because they want to? Large motor carriers generally are forced by their insurance carrier to have a safety agent and gps of the buses to track their speed and location. The insurance company has a lot of risk so they want someone making sure the buses are operating within the rules. The buses also have a black box just like new cars have that record speed and braking. You should investigate it youself, but instead you will say I made up the gps comment. I know ...more
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jul 31, 13 8:09 AM
Nature, are you sure? I bet a condition of the Jitney's licenses to operate (fed/state) grants permission to audit the black boxes. Similar to the "permissions" we agree to by virtue of having a driver's license? (In the context of refusal to take a Breathalyzer test).
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 31, 13 8:16 AM
And chief1, we all await your eye-witness observations per my list above, and the suggestions of FrugalHamptons below.

If you did not witness, the accident, wouldn't you say your conclusion about causation is a bit premature?

Thank you.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 31, 13 8:19 AM
Hold your breath waiting. You've got a half dozen or so requests here and on other threads to explain your postings.
If as you claim, the buses are equipped with tracking devices; and if as you claim the buses are monitored; and if as you claim the Jitneys are always speeding and behaving in a generally unacceptable manner, just what purpose does the monitoring serve? If Hampton Jitney is aware that their buses are violating traffic laws, and if said behavior continues, your "friend who is a ...more
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jul 31, 13 2:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 1, 13 8:13 AM
Still listening for your eye witness account . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 1, 13 8:20 AM
Not sure - which is why I said "probably". I don't see it as being the same as a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer can only be used after police have probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence.

Auditing all black boxes of a companie's vehicles (including ones that weren't involved in accidents) is totally different and would likely be an unlawful search and seizure. Additionally, what would be the point? So let's say the black boxes of all busses showed they'd exceeded ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Aug 1, 13 9:17 AM
There is also a traffic light at David White's Lane. Nobody has asked whether there were any reports indicating whether the garbage truck had a green light or what color.... This might help explain the actions of the jitney driver. For example: was it reasonable that the bus thought the truck was stopping at the light? Or, could there have been parked vehicles on the shoulder creating a blind spot for the jitney driver? Nonetheless -- all of these comments are just that -- COMMENTS...unless present ...more
By FrugalHamptons (1), East Quogue on Jul 30, 13 11:09 PM
Well said IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jul 31, 13 7:54 AM
... I hear that people are starting to complain about the Medevacs hovering and landing. Too much noise - especially on the weekends.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Jul 31, 13 11:37 AM
Great editorial in the Press today about the failure of SHT leadership re: repeated accidents on 39a.

"Who is in charge?"

Bring on the November Ejections . . .
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Aug 1, 13 7:02 AM
1 member liked this comment
By briantymann (31), westhampton beach on Aug 6, 13 10:45 AM