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Bulldozer driver dies after Riverhead crash, cops say

A bulldozer operator who was seriously injured Tuesday when he fell from his moving machine has died, Riverhead Town police said.

Det. Sgt. Edward Frost said early Thursday that the bulldozer operator, 42, was pronounced dead at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Frost said police were not releasing the name of the bulldozer driver, who had internal injuries and was airlifted to Stony Brook by Suffolk County police’s aviation unit about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

After the driver fell, the machine continued on unmanned, “coming in contact” with him, then striking an unoccupied parked van before finally stopping in the rear parking lot of an Applebee’s restaurant, according to police.

The driver was leveling a stretch of land off Old Country Road, between the Riverhead Nissan auto dealership and a Costco, when he fell, according to a news release.

Frost said police were not sure why he fell from the machine. “It could have been a medical issue, but we really are not sure,” he said.

Frost said the police investigation was continuing and that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also was conducting an investigation.

Police are hoping someone witnessed the accident and can provide more details, Frost said.

Anyone with more information is asked to call Riverhead Town police at 631-727-4500.

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