A single-car accident that police said was linked to the night's nor'easter caused fatal injuries to the driver, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, early Thursday morning in Hampton Bays, police said.
"Initial findings reveal that the vehicle lost control due to the icy road conditions and inclement weather," Southampton Town police said in a prepared statement.
The driver, Matthew D. Williams, 29, of Southampton, died as emergency workers tried to remove him from the wrecked vehicle and give him medical aid, police said.
Williams was a triplet, and lived on the Shinnecock reservation as did the other two triplet brothers, Maurice and Marcus, said Beverly Jensen, the tribe's communications director.
"This is a tragedy for our tribe," Jensen said. Matthew Williams was born and raised on the tribal lands, and several of his relatives were leaders there, she said. "His Uncle Harry was a long-standing trustee, his grand-uncle Tom was a trustee," she said.
Officers were dispatched to the Flanders Road accident after they got a call at 1:51 a.m. When they arrived at the crash, about two miles north of Old Riverhead Road, they "found a red 1999 Ford Mustang had left the roadway and crashed into a tree, with the operator trapped in the vehicle," the police said.
Williams was alone in the car, police said.
The officers called in the Hampton Bays Fire Department and Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance, and a heavy rescue unit tried to get Williams out.
"During the course of the extrication, the operator lost consciousness and attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful," the police said.
Williams was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.
Police closed Flanders Road from Old Riverhead Road to Red Creek Road in Hampton Bays for several hours while detectives investigated the accident.
The Suffolk County medical examiner's office responded and removed Williams' body for further examination.