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One killed, 14 hurt in East End bus crash

A driver was killed in Riverhead after colliding

A driver was killed in Riverhead after colliding with a bus on Tuesday. (Feb. 2, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

A Suffolk Transit bus slammed into a car that ran a stop sign at an intersection in Riverside, a small community in Southampton Town, Tuesday morning, killing the car's driver and injuring 14 on the bus, none seriously, officials said.

The intersection of county roads 51 and 63 was also the scene of a deadly accident in 2002, when a man driving in a funeral procession ran a stop sign and was hit by another car, killing him.

The S66 bus between Patchogue and Riverhead was carrying 14 passengers and the driver, John Bravata, 56, of Ronkonkoma, Suffolk County spokesman Mark Smith said.

He said the bus had just left the Suffolk County Community College Riverhead campus and was headed north on County Road 51 when the crash occurred about 7:40 a.m.

Police pronounced Michael Brown, 21, of Greenport, dead at the scene. According to police, Brown, who was driving a 2000 Ford Focus, ran a stop sign and was struck by the bus. Brown's family declined to comment.

Police said 14 bus passengers were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center and Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, though police said at the scene and in a later statement that there were no serious injuries.

The road was closed in both directions between Pine and Speonk-River Road, just north of the college campus for about four hours as police conducted an investigation, officials said.

Police said no charges are pending, but an investigation of the accident is continuing.

Earlier on Tuesday, investigators had put up yellow tape at the scene of the accident, where Brown's badly damaged blue car sat on the shoulder, its driver's side door smashed in. The bus was on the median, its windshield broken.

In the 2002 crash, the driver in the funeral procession in Riverside was killed and two of his passengers were hospitalized after he failed to yield the right-of-way at an intersection and his car was struck by another vehicle, Southampton Town police said.

Part of the funeral procession continued on to the burial, unaware of the accident.

With Yamiche Alcindor and Mitchell Freedman

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