Cops: Hampton Jitney driver distracted before crash
A Hampton Jitney bus driver was distracted when his drink fell just before he rear-ended a car in a three-vehicle accident with injuries in Water Mill, Southampton Town police said late Thursday.
The bus pushed a Mercedes-Benz with five passengers into the back of a masonry dump truck on westbound Montauk Highway at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, closing the roadway in both directions between Scuttle Hole Road and Davids Lane for more than an hour, police said.
An investigation determined that Jitney driver James Miles, 51, of Riverhead, was distracted when his beverage fell to the floor of the bus. Miles then hit the Mercedes, starting the three-vehicle pileup, police said.
No criminal charges are expected, police said.
The bus was not carrying passengers, Nina Bracovic, a passenger services representative at Jitney, said earlier this week.
Hampton Bays, Southampton and Southampton Village ambulance personnel responded, along with police and fire. Hydraulic cutting tools were used to free the passengers from the Mercedes, police said, and one passenger -- Lisa Lakeman, 20, of East Hampton -- had serious head trauma.
Lakeman was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, where she was in stable condition, police said late Thursday.
The driver of the dump truck, Brian Doroska, 42, of Hampton Bays, had minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital, police said.
The Suffolk County Motor Carrier Unit ran safety checks on both the Jitney bus and the commercial dump truck. Both vehicles received undisclosed summonses, police said.