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Apr 9, 2016 2:29 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecock Man Killed While Crossing County Road 39 On Foot Friday Night

Apr 12, 2016 3:40 PM

Claude Eleazer could fix anything.

“He was known on the reservation as one of the best mechanics that you could find, and there was probably nothing he couldn’t fix,” remembered his sister, Toria Eleazer this week.

On Friday night, Mr. Eleazer, 37, was killed when he was struck by a car while trying to cross County Road 39 on foot. He was struck by a car traveling westbound shortly before 10:30 p.m., Southampton Town Police said last week.

The accident took place near the strip mall that houses Goldberg’s Famous Bagels, Melrose East pizza and Blue Collar Bar. Lieutenant Susan Ralph said she did not know specifically where Mr. Eleazer was coming from.

Police said that the driver of a Chevrolet Cruze, a 26-year-old woman, did not see Mr. Eleazer before her vehicle struck him on the dark roadway. She was not injured and is not being charged in connection with the accident, although her car was impounded for inspection, police said.

A Southampton Volunteer Ambulance crew transported Mr. Eleazer to Southampton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Mr. Eleazer leaves behind five brothers and sisters, as well as a 5-year-old son, Gaige Eleazer, whom “he absolutely adored,” his sister said.

His sister said Mr. Eleazer grew up on both the Shinnecock Indian Reservation and in Virginia, and she said he inspired everyone he knew. He especially loved being around his family and “doing anything he could to help out with his family.”

“He was very well traveled, and this allowed him to leave a mark on many lives, and so his tragic passing has left broken hearts up and down the East Coast,” she said. “It is not just here that is hurting for what has happened to him—it stretches pretty far.”

County Road 39 has been the scene of many accidents over the last few years that have claimed the lives of drivers and pedestrians alike.

In November 2014, Paulino Zeledon Hernandez, 44, was struck and killed while crossing County Road 39 on foot near Burger King to get picked up for his job at a farm in East Hampton.

On May 7, 2014, a 29-year-old bicyclist, Neil S. Fyfe, who was a caddy at Sebonack Golf Club, was struck and killed when a motorist ran a red light and struck him in a crosswalk. The driver, 22-year-old Jesse Werner Steudte of Southampton, was later sentenced to four years in state prison in connection with the incident because a court found that he was intoxicated at the time.

In July 2010, Margarito Rojano Dejesus, 33, was walking northbound across the road when he was struck and killed near the intersection with North Sea Road in Tuckahoe. Police said the light for oncoming traffic was green at the time.

In 2008, 16-year-old Pablo Saldivar was killed when he was the passenger in a vehicle that spun out of control when trying to cross the intersection of County Road 39 and North Sea Road.

A head-on collision involving a Hampton Jitney and an SUV in July 2013 killed 29-year-old Carissa Castillo of Shirley on County Road 39 between Tuckahoe Lane and Tuckahoe Road. Police said speed was a factor in the accident.

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I have crossed that same span many times late at night when I was younger. Very dangerous. RIP.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Apr 9, 16 5:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Condolences to all involved.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Apr 9, 16 5:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Very sorry for the loss of Mr. Eleazer and the many other pedestrians who have lost their lives on this strip of highway. When is the town going to do something about all the deadly accidents that happen right around this part of the highway. We need street lights and a closer watch of motorists speeding butt now our poorly informed supervisor wants to take away the stop light there during the busiest time of the morning, not a good idea. We need things that slow down traffic not speed it up.
By photo friend (31), southampton on Apr 9, 16 6:31 PM
What we need is for people to be more conscientious, behind the wheel or not. We need people to be better drivers, instead of blaming inanimate objects like the road which cannot argue or fight back. What we need is for people to not be careless on any level while behind the wheel or otherwise.

I have driven coast to coast and have visited almost every state in the Union. And, as a professional with untold hundreds of thousands of miles and untold thousands of hours on the road, I can ...more
Apr 10, 16 2:02 AM appended by Mr. Z
And Jessica, Bravo.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 10, 16 2:02 AM
4 members liked this comment
Sometimes it is NOT the driver. Should be wiser when crossing a road where there is no crosswalk and is dark. I wonder if he was under the influence leaving the blue collar as well. Was not a smart move on the pedestrians half. Now that innocent driver has to live with that the rest of her life.
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 16 11:43 AM
Absolutely NO PROOF he was leaving the bar! Or that alcohol played any role. Don't be an asshole and have some respect. An accident occurred and someone died MY BROTHER. Prayers for the driver if she was not at fault and for my brother who happened to misjudge attempting to cross a 4 lane highway. JERK!
By DeannaEleazer (2), on Apr 10, 16 1:26 PM
Very sorry for your loss Deanna.
By dnice (2346), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 16 2:57 PM
I am sorry for your loss, but there is no need for vulgarities on this thread.
By nsea93 (39), Southampton on Apr 11, 16 2:45 AM
How does one get hit by a car when crossing the street? Unless the car came ripping around a corner? Unless the headlights were off? Bad judgment maybe? I wonder what might have happened
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Apr 10, 16 8:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
Have you seen this stretch of road? I wouldn't even want to cross the road there during the day. And to make it worse everyone drives way too fast on that road.
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Apr 11, 16 7:02 PM
Have you seen this stretch of road? I wouldn't even want to cross the road there during the day. And to make it worse everyone drives way too fast on that road.
By SH_Res (342), Southampton on Apr 11, 16 7:02 PM
RIP to all. Plus Scott McCabe 7/280/01
Same location. Scott was a pedestrian killed by a vehicle.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Apr 12, 16 3:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
Condolences to the family, what a horrible thing to happen. My brother died at 17 years old in a car accident and still 30 years later it's heartbreaking. I feel for this family and all the friends who knew him. Death is tragic and I feel especially more so with younger people, so much life left to live and love to give. I'm not a religious person but I will be sending warm comforting thoughts.
Why hasn't the name of the driver been listed? She's obviously an adult - what is so special ...more
By justme (6), Southampton on Apr 13, 16 7:32 AM
Also, I wanted to add that it doesn't even matter where he was coming from or going to. That has nothing to do with being hit on the road. People cross roads on foot all the time, it's our responsibility as the driver of that vehicle to be watching out for everything - cars - people - animals - debris on the road. We are operating a piece of machinery - we have to be watching all the time. I highly doubt he was traveling across the road faster than the car was traveling down it. We need to ...more
By justme (6), Southampton on Apr 13, 16 7:37 AM
I was driving right by the scene of the accident this morning and I tried to see how fast the cars were driving, I hit 60 and couldn't keep up with the Range Rover in the next lane, that's crazy, 25 miles over the speed limit, where are the police? Oh over their on Hill Street.. I'll stick to my 35-40 while most of the cars pass by, it's not worth it.
By adczeta (78), southampton on Apr 14, 16 10:52 AM
I am very sorry for the family.
But in response to just me please reconsider what you just said. Slowing down paying attention are all good things. But stopping in the middle of the road to let people cross (unless it's a designated crossing area) is putting pedestrians and drivers in more danger. I have seen people do things like that before and they are just unaware of the potential for danger they create.Just follow the rules of the road. Deciding on your own to change them creates confusion ...more
By jams (129), hampton bays on Apr 14, 16 12:03 PM
Terrible loss - He was an outstanding member of his community by all accounts - God rest his soul and please help his family in their hour of need.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Apr 14, 16 12:15 PM
My heart and prayers go out to the family of this young man. So tragic. May he rest in peace.
By Ocean Lady (16), Southampton on Apr 14, 16 10:46 PM