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May 15, 2019 10:37 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Driver Faces Unlicensed Operator Charges Following Four-Car Pileup On County Road 39 Monday

May 15, 2019 10:47 AM

A Riverhead man was charged with driving without a valid license after causing a four-car pileup on County Road 39 in Southampton during rush hour on Monday morning that sent three people—including the Riverhead man—to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Town Police said Kevin Hughes, 59, was traveling eastbound at about 8:15 a.m. in a 1999 Mercury Sable, when he collided with a 2014 Subaru operated by Leigh Wanamaker of Westhampton, who was also traveling eastbound, near Shrubland Road.

After the first collision, Mr. Hughes’s car struck a 2017 Tesla operated by Alexis Collazo, 29, of Staten Island, which was also traveling eastbound. Mr. Hughes’s car then collided with a 2018 Chevrolet pickup operated by Santos Palacios, 42, of Hampton Bays, which was traveling westbound.

Mr. Hughes, Ms. Wanamaker, and Ms. Collazo were all transported to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.

Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane were closed for about an hour while the accident scene was cleared. Mr. Hughes was issued a ticket for operating without a license.

According to Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Susan Ralph, the accident occurred at about 8:15 a.m., and the road was reopened by 9:20 a.m.

Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance, Southampton Volunteer Ambulance and the Southampton Village Fire Department all responded to the scene.

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wow! another accident on CR-39 - who could've predicated that!?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (734), southampton on May 13, 19 10:09 AM
1 member liked this comment
Need to put a traffic light there. Traffic moves too fast in both directions making it difficult to enter and exit CR 39.
By V.Tomanoku (782), southampton on May 13, 19 10:34 AM
2 members liked this comment
Won't matter. They'll still do 50 or better and just slam on the brakes harder to stop.

Idiots can't manage to do 70 when they get to the Sunrise though.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on May 13, 19 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
This road is a death trap. Why doesn’t the Town demand that the County start looking at real solutions for making this road safer.
By rv (36), watermill on May 13, 19 12:25 PM
Removing fools from the road is not the County's job.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on May 13, 19 1:57 PM
Agreed but I'm not sure what a viable solution is since there is not enough room to make a service road unless they built an elevated highway but that would never happen either.
By Rich Morey (370), East Hampton on May 14, 19 10:08 AM
Put the road back the way it was before they added the additional lanes. It was a lot safer when it had full width lanes and shoulders. Let the traffic back-up on Sunrise where it is nicely contained.
By bird (813), Sag Harbor on May 17, 19 9:45 AM
1 member liked this comment
A ZERO TOLERANCE speed limit enforcement policy would be a good start to making the highway safer!! Pull the idiots over right on the road and back the traffic up to Westhampton , safety first.
By bigfresh (4534), north sea on May 13, 19 12:51 PM
Good idea. Maybe the town can contract with the village. Run it through the village court and the town can get a cut.
By bird (813), Sag Harbor on May 17, 19 9:48 AM
Not very safe for the police, I think that’s why they don’t pull people over on 339.
By Fred s (2997), Southampton on May 13, 19 12:58 PM
You have a valid point. Where would you pull them over to? Jump the curb onto the sidewalk?
By bb (907), Hampton Bays on May 15, 19 3:32 PM
This road needs major structural change. Speed cameras for sure, but fewer turning conflicts are also critical. It cant keep trying to be both a highway and local road. But every change will have winners and losers, and our community has never been terribly good at accepting adverse change for the greater good. That’s why our leaders are so timid. Let’s all look in the mirror.
By CPalmer (99), Southampton on May 13, 19 1:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Imagine how hard it is to be a business owner on 39, employees, customers and delivery workers take their lives in their hands every time they enter or exit the business due to IDIOTS speeding! Perhaps this would work, have police officers stationed along 39 , off the road shooting radar and calling in violators to cars ahead of them who then pull the IDIOTS over and ticket them. For westbound violators the shoulder of 27 works, eastbound could be both the college and just past North Main. The problem ...more
By bigfresh (4534), north sea on May 13, 19 1:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
Speed cameras won’t require police to sit around and write tickets. Once installed and signs posted of their presence, traffic will obey the 35 mph speed limit.
By Non-Political (124), Hampton Bays on May 13, 19 3:58 PM
The posted limit is one thing. Social convention is another.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on May 13, 19 10:34 PM
I hold my breath at this location every afternoon on my drive home. Typically you have 4 lanes of fast moving traffic with a car sitting in the median attempting to make a left onto Shrubland. Then you have the line of traffic that took the back roads and are sitting on Shrubland trying to infiltrate the traffic going west. Eventually they dart out, making the car in the furthest right west bound lane swerve to the left into the car in that lane which has to swerve and is now head on with the car ...more
By kkelly75 (31), Hampton Bays on May 13, 19 4:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
If traffic flowed at 45 MPH max, the timing of the lights would leave gaps. Traffic engineering is extant on said stretch of highway.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on May 13, 19 10:26 PM
1 member liked this comment
Build a 4 lane highway out to Montauk or this will always be a problem
By chief1 (2765), southampton on May 13, 19 5:32 PM
That would solve nothing.

Behavior is the issue, not design.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on May 13, 19 10:30 PM
People just are not paying attention; they're doing seventy on Sunrise Highway and without warning the road narrows and the speed limit is slashed. The distractions of cell phones and other devices don't go away.

I propose somebody build a couple of huge, glaringly bright electric signs, I'm talking like sixty feet high, to get the attention of drivers approaching the end of the highway and notify them to slow down, get off their phones and pay attention.
By VOS (1224), WHB on May 13, 19 6:06 PM
Have you ever tallied the drivers in your opposing lane you couldn't look in the eye? Perhaps distracted by something?

Hand up, easily two thirds of the opposing drivers I observe can't make eye contact.
By Mr. Z (11540), North Sea on May 13, 19 10:32 PM
Death Road CTR 39 getting an early jump on summer! Not even halfway through May and we've already seen three major accidents complete with multiple lane - road closures and power lines down.

When is the City Council going to be held responsible for this calamity of a road?
By BillWillConn3 (179), Southampton on May 13, 19 7:52 PM
Roads don’t kill people, people kill people.
By Draggerman (930), Southampton on May 14, 19 7:00 AM
If you really think about it...
It's unbelievable how more accidents/tragedy does not occur.
By saggguy (20), SAGAPONACK on May 13, 19 8:28 PM
You all keep blaming CR39, the guy didnt have a DL!!!! Probably no insurance. Why didnt he have a DL? Most likely his poor driving record. He will be back on the road by Wednesday. Its not the road, its the drivers.
By P. Revere (145), hampton Bays on May 13, 19 9:02 PM
2 members liked this comment
Could build a center median down the whole stretch whith a few turn around points. Same like every other busy area. At least traffic won't be going in opposite directions with people stopped in the middle facing both directions.
By SHResident (59), Southampton on May 14, 19 5:33 AM
Nothing wrong with the road....its the idiots who use it and sadly there is nothing we can do about that.
By Preliator Lives (428), Obamavillie on May 14, 19 6:57 AM
- the design of the road is a factor in the % of accidents
- we can do something about idiots : enforce the speed limit.
you used to be such a better troll, Preliator
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (734), southampton on May 14, 19 7:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
Texting or fiddling with their phones most likely
By Amagansett Voter (60), Amagansett on May 14, 19 7:54 AM
I still shocked this article used the name of the unlicensed driver.
By Win sky (53), Southampton on May 14, 19 9:15 AM
1 member liked this comment
I know right!
By bmr80 (34), east quogue on May 16, 19 6:07 PM
Hampton Bays Rotary, Autumn Evening by the Sea, Oakland's, HB Rotary