UPDATE: Medical Examiner to ID Driver Killed in Edwards Ave. Crash

Riverhead Town Police said vehicle was 'engulfed in flames.'

Police have not yet identified the truck driver who died after an accident involving an overturned tractor trailer in Calverton on Tuesday.

According to Riverhead Town Police Lieutenant David Lessard, an unidentified male driver in a 2011 Mack trailer carrying sand was heading northbound on Edwards Avenue when the vehicle went out of control and crossed into the southbound lane, sideswiping a 2008 Subaru.

The driver of the Subaru, Joseph Reilly, Jr. of Maplewood, New Jersey, was unhurt in the other vehicle.

The tractor trailer continued northbound, crashed into a large tree on the east shoulder of the road, and burst into flames. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Positive identification by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office is pending, police say.

"The operator of the tractor trailer is a fatality," Lessard said.

A safety inspection of the tractor trailer will be done; the investigation will continue and be handled by Riverhead Town detectives.

Edwards Avenue was closed by the accident and police were diverting traffic.

Calverton resident Hal Lindstrom said he was driving southbound on Edwards Avenue when he saw the flames from about a quarter mile away. "At first I thought it was a brush fire but then I saw flames coming out. It was buring at full blast. It was completely in flames," he said.

Also on the scene were the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Riverhead Fire Marshall's Office, the Riverhead Highway Department, the Suffolk County Motor Carrier and Aviation Units, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The accident occurred near the Miller Environmental Group offices in Calverton, police said. 

The Subaru was impounded pending a safety inspection

Check back to Riverhead Patch for more details  as they become available.

Joseph Pinciaro contributed to this story.

Sesame398 June 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
OMG!! Me and a lot of other kids saw it in Riley Avenue school grounds. We were on the playground and saw the smoke, we were going to rush inside but then a teacher called someone and the teacher said that the fire was far away.
John Pine June 20, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Could see it from Tanger as well. At first it looked like it was much closer, in Splish Splash.
Lacy Burton June 22, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Should you not forget the men who recovered the tractor/trailer. They were there till midnight also and not only worked hard but used both skill and dignity dealing with the owner of the vehicle and the equipment knowing that a soul perished in this accident.
Meadow Lane June 25, 2012 at 01:00 PM
The police must crack down on these high speed sand and gravel trucks that race through the East End at dangerous speeds. This kind of accident happens several times each year, yet nothing is done. If necessary, speed monitors should be mandatory on these large, heavy vehicles with idiots behind the wheel.
Southold June 25, 2012 at 06:44 PM
The police need to crack down on EVERYONE operating motor vehicles innappropriately, not just truck drivers. It's getting very dangerous out here. Very few of the drivers have a clue...


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