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Police chief: 4 dead after DWI crash involving limo believed to be coming from Vineyard 48

SoutholdLOCAL file photo

Update: 8:41 p.m. Southold Town Police Chief Martin Flatley said the driver of the pickup truck that T-boned the limo was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Original story: At least four are dead after a horrific accident today on Route 48 in Cutchogue caused when a limo carrying at least seven passengers made a turn to head west and was struck by the westbound driver of a red pickup, resulting in the T-bone crash, police said. At least three died at the scene, Flatley said, and a fourth person died at Peconic Bay Medical Center. It was still unclear this evening if any others fatalities would be found inside the limousine, he said.

Flatley said the limo, which thought to be carrying all women, was believed to be coming from Vineyard 48 and headed west, possibly to one of the boroughs in New York City. None of the deceased have local identification, he said.

Witnesses at the scene were visibly shaken, describing the screams and bloodied evening clothes. One young woman was heard calling for her mother, a witness said.

Billowing white sheets covered victims inside the limo, where windows were broken from the impact of the crash. Broken glass and wreckage littered the roadway.

One woman at the scene told SoutholdLOCAL she’d seen CPR being performed on a victim, who was then airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital.

2015_0718_CrashSome said the passengers  in the limo were bridesmaids coming from a bachelorette party or other wedding event, but that was not immediately confirmed.

In recent years, Vineyard 48 neighbors have cried out about limo operators, carrying patrons to the winery, driving dangerously on area roads and parking outside their homes.

Of the accident, Flatley said, “It was a dangerous move. This is what we’ve always been afraid of.”  Limos making such turns take up two to three lanes and pose a  danger on area roads, Flatley said, one reason why the town has been cautioning against potential tragedy on Route 48 for years.

Drivers of both the limo and truck survived and were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Emergency responders from across the North Fork, including Southold, Mattituck,  Cutchogue, Greenport, East Marion and Orient responded to the scene. Victims were transported from the scene by Suffolk County medevac.

The accident closed the road in both directions. The state police were expected to take over the investigation this evening.