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Smithtown fire chief's vehicle slams into pole, driver driven home

A man driving a Smithtown Fire Department chief's

A man driving a Smithtown Fire Department chief's vehicle crashed into a pole in Bay Shore on March 12, 2015, Suffolk police said.

A man driving a Smithtown Fire Department chief's vehicle crashed into a pole in Bay Shore Thursday night, Suffolk police said.

Police, who did not identify the man driving the Ford Expedition, said it crashed into a pole on Spur Drive South near Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore about 7 p.m. The man then drove about 2 miles north to Fifth Avenue and Wicks Road in Brentwood, where he flagged down an officer to say that he had been in a crash, police said.

Officers performed a preliminary field sobriety test at the scene and determined the driver wasn't intoxicated, police said. He refused medical help.

The officers then drove the man to his Smithtown home, police said, since there was "significant damage" to the vehicle.

A spokesman for the Smithtown Fire Department said Thursday night he wasn't aware of the incident, and said it hadn't gone through the department's radio system since it happened outside of the fire district.

"Fire department chiefs keep their vehicles all the time in any department just in case there's an emergency and they have to leave quickly to go somewhere," public information officer Jeff Bressler said.

He said there are four chiefs in the department, and he did not know which one's vehicle had been involved in the accident.

According to an audit by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli's office last year, the Smithtown Fire District has about 196 volunteer members, 16 full-time employees and 24 part-time employees, and had a general fund budget of about $4.23 million last year, funded largely through property taxes.

The audit of the district's $2.98 million project to construct a firehouse recommended a written policy for capital projects after determining the district did not comply with state law by failing to hold a referendum in October 2012, when fire commissioners authorized the expense from a capital reserve fund.


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