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Authorities: East Northport man cleared of BWI charge in fatal boat crash

Damage from the boat crash in Great Peconic

Damage from the boat crash in Great Peconic Bay is seen on the morning of Nov. 11. Credit: John Roca

A toxicology report has cleared an East Northport man of the charge of boating while intoxicated in connection with a fatal powerboat crash at the entrance of James Creek in Mattituck on Nov. 10, authorities said Friday.

Police had originally charged the boat operator, Frank DiStefano, 48, with boating while intoxicated in the crash that killed Kelley Blanchard, 27, of Riverhead.

The Suffolk County district attorney’s office said it had secured a court order to test DiStefano's blood immediately upon his arrival to the hospital.

"The toxicology report indicated that the blood alcohol content was under the legal threshold for a criminal charge," the office said Friday.

The crash remains under criminal investigation, officials said.

It also seriously injured DiStefano and two other occupants after the 39-foot powerboat slammed into a bulkhead west of the entrance to the creek, police said.

First responders transported Blanchard to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Two of the seriously injured were airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital via Suffolk County police medevac helicopters, while the other victim was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center, officials said. Police identified the three as DiStefano, Nick Soullas, 41, of Jamesport, and Megan Blanchard, 29, of New Suffolk, Kelley Blanchard's sister.

Police said the four were aboard the Cobalt powerboat at about 9:15 p.m. when it struck the bulkhead about 50 yards west of the entrance to James Creek on Great Peconic Bay. The crash site is located near the end of Old Salt Road in Mattituck, police said.

Law enforcement is asking anyone with information on the crash to call the Suffolk County district attorney’s office at 631-853-4161.

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