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Huntington Police Officer Killed in Crash

Patrick Curley, a member of the SCPD for 17 years, died Friday when his vehicle collided with a garbage truck.

An off-duty Suffolk County police officer was killed early Friday morning in a crash along Jericho Turnpike in Commack, police said.

Patrick Curley, of Huntington, was driving an SUV west on Route 25, near Siracusa Boulevard, when his vehicle collided with a Winters Brothers garbage truck that was backing out of a business onto Route 25 at 3:33 a.m, according to police. 

Curley, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. The driver of the garbage truck, James Jarosch, 59, was not injured.

Curley was a member of the Suffolk County Police Department for 17 years and served in the Second Precinct.

Insp. Edward Brady, commander of the Second Precinct, said Curley was a dedicated officer. “He was well respected and much loved by officers here,” Brady said. “Everyone warmed up to him and enjoyed him. He always had the best intereste of the community and the department."

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”We lost an excellent officer and a  terrific person," Brady said. "His passing is a terrible loss for the Second Precinct and the department.”

Brady said Curley enjoyed talking about, and “had obvious pride in his daughter.”

Curley had recently moved from overnight patrol duties in the Melville area to covering the Commack and Dix Hills area. Brady said Curley had been off from work for a couple of days when the accident occurred.

The SUV was impounded for a safety check and the garbage truck was inspected by Motor Carrier at the scene. Jarosch was issued summonses for unsafe backing and equipment violation, police said. 

Tony Farina, the Long Island district manager for Winters Bros Waste Systems, Inc., said that Jarosch has worked for the company for the past eight years and has always been an upstanding employee, with a clean track record.

"He is an outstanding employee, probably one of our best. He comes in all of the time. His truck is always very clean. I have nothing bad to say about the gentleman," Farina said.

He said that the company is looking into how the accident occurred.

"The police are doing an investigation and we are also doing an investigation ourselves, but the way we understand it is that we were backing out of a business on the regular route and got rear ended by the vehicle."

Farina said that the company trucks all have back up alarms, cameras, lights and an audio mechanism to allow people to hear when they are backing up.

"As a company we extend our sympathies. Tragedies like this are an unfortunate part of what could happen. We take it very seriously, regardless of whose fault it was," he said.

Suffolk County police closed Jericho Turnpike in Commack in both directions until late Friday morning.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to contact Fourth Squad detectives at 631-854-8452 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

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Kenneth Godin, Sr. January 12, 2013 at 09:38 PM
One other thing I failed to mentioned, although I was not there, I do have over 44 years of heavy truck driving experience. I don't believe Jimmy , the driver of the front loader truck, could have prevented this tragity by himself. If he was to get out and look behind the truck, in the 4 to 6 seconds it takes to get back into the cab, a vehicle traveling at 60mph is going at 88 ft. Per second. Everything changes by the time the vehicle is put in reverse. Jimmy will live with this on his mind every time he goes to work, if he goes back to work. As a professional driver, I feel for this guy.
Dennis January 13, 2013 at 12:31 AM
With no credible info on this tragic accident I think it would be best if everyone wants to pass on condolences to leave a post doing so..To have posters come on here and have a conclusion this was the truck drivers fault is just rubbish...This poor guy will have to live with this for the rest of his life...I for one dont see where posting how "lets make a curly law" and some of the other posts are going to solve anything..From all accounts,it sounds like the officer was a "good guy" and its a shame he lost his life so young..The flip side to this,is a young truck driver who's life has been "destroyed" by an unfortunate accident...My condolences and prays to the officers family and same to the driver.....
david January 13, 2013 at 04:11 AM
3:30 am on 2 days off from duty?????????
BK13 January 13, 2013 at 07:00 AM
Sad all around. A lose-lose for everyone. RIP to Officer Curley and peace to the truck driver.
Cathy January 13, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Imagine the pain this driver is suffering. This is not a truck you see on the street, it's a front loader that has to puck up early before traffic makes their jobs impossible. BTW there were no skid marks at the scene and the driver was 3/4 into the road when it was hit. What does that tell you. This is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved but not the truck drivers fault. If you were hit from behind would it be your fault. Until all facts are out don't be judging something you have no way of knowing about. Sympathy to the Curley family.

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