Family and friends from as far away as California had seen stories about the case of mistaken identity that briefly led Alfred Esposito Jr. and his wife, Geri, to erroneously believe their son had been killed in a fiery crash in Pennsylvania, the elder Esposito said Thursday.

But five days after the Interstate 80 crash that killed two Stony Brook University students and injured a third, Esposito said he and his wife still had not heard from Pennsylvania state police to discuss the devastating 90 minutes when they believed their son, Alfred Esposito III, 26, of Bay Shore, had been killed.

"I thought even [Wednesday] was a little late. That call should have come on Sunday," said the elder Esposito, who lives in Mastic Beach. "I would have taken the call on Wednesday and moved on, but now it's a little late."

Pennsylvania police have acknowledged they mistakenly identified Paul Richards, 21, of Santa Cruz, Calif., one of the victims, as Esposito, because Richards had a copy of Esposito's driver's license.

Pennsylvania police officials did not return numerous phone calls Thursday.

In an interview with WCBS-TV, the younger Esposito, known as Freddy, said Thursday he did not know why Richards had his identification.

"I could have lost it anywhere," he said. "I still had mine in my pocket. It was a horrible mistake."

Freddy Esposito did not respond Thursday to an e-mail from Newsday.

His father said Freddy Esposito went to a wake this week for Sean Finnegan, 21, of Lynbrook, who also died in Saturday's crash. He said his son also attended a vigil late Wednesday night on the Stony Brook campus.

"It's kind of hard to comfort my family and be grieving for my fallen friend," Freddy Esposito told WCBS. "It's been a pretty brutal couple of days."

Finnegan's father and Richards' mother spoke at the outdoor vigil in Stony Brook, which was attended by about 300 to 400 people, said assistant dean of students Jeff Barnett.

A letter was read from Stanislav Gomberg, 21, of Ossining, who was seriously hurt in the crash but is now doing well, Barnett said.

Freddy Esposito had dropped out of Stony Brook, where he studied journalism, and was working as a consultant testing ATMs for a bank, his father said.

The elder Esposito, director of software testing for a legal services firm, said he sympathized with the families of Finnegan and Richards, especially after believing for a time that his own son had died.

"I only tasted it for an hour and a half," he said. "That was enough for me."

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