The Smithtown fire chief who crashed his marked SUV into a pole in Bay Shore last week has been suspended from driving department vehicles, a fire official said Wednesday.
Fire Commissioner Thomas Buffa said a suspension is routine after a fire vehicle crash and usually lasts "at least a month."
Smithtown Fire Department Chief Steven Sisino, 54, could not be reached for comment.StoryCops: Fire chief crashed SUV into poleStoryCops: Fire chief's car crashes into pole
The chief struck the pole on Fifth Avenue off Spur Drive on March 12, shortly after a Suffolk police dispatcher alerted officers to erratic driving that night involving the 2007 Ford Expedition.
After the crash, Sisino drove 2 miles north to Suffolk Avenue and Wicks Road in Brentwood and flagged down an officer to say he had been in an accident, police said.
He passed a field sobriety test and was not arrested. Sisino was given a ride home by officers because of extensive damage to the SUV's front end, according to police.
Buffa said police told fire officials that Sisino, who wasn't injured, was on his cellphone moments before the accident.
Sisino "dropped the cellphone, reached for the cellphone, hit a pothole and lost control of the car," Buffa said. "That's what we were told."
Buffa said the Smithtown Board of Fire Commissioners is investigating the accident.
"He's going to be in here, and we're going to be asking questions to find out what's going on," he said of Sisino.
Sisino, who works as a Suffolk County correction officer, has been the Smithtown chief for eight years. His term ends in three weeks, Buffa said.