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Long IslandSuffolk

Livery cab driver Christopher Savage killed in crash on Sound Avenue in Baiting Hollow, cops say

A serious two-car crash closed Sound Avenue in

A serious two-car crash closed Sound Avenue in Baiting Hollow Wednesday morning, Nov. 26, 2014 police said. The collision occurred at 8:08 a.m., according to Riverhead Town police. Police said the road is closed for investigation between Fresh Pond Avenue and Edwards Avenue. It was not clear how long the road would remain closed Wednesday. Credit: James Carbone

A Mastic Beach man on duty as a livery cab driver was killed when he lost control of his car in Baiting Hollow Wednesday morning and collided with an oncoming vehicle, Riverhead police said.

Christopher N. Savage, 46, was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of a Toyota Yaris, Caitlin E. Minton, 28, of Manorville, suffered a leg injury and underwent surgery at Stony Brook University Hospital, police said.

Savage was on Sound Avenue just after 8 a.m., driving west and going downhill in the rain, when he lost control of his Lincoln, which he was driving for Hometown Taxi in Southampton, Lt. Richard Boden said. "He was going faster than he should have been for the conditions on the road," Boden said.

Savage was pronounced dead at the scene. "She was in a small car and he was in a big car," the lieutenant said. "He took the worse of it."

Savage had spent 21 years in state prison in Queens for killing his former A&P supermarket co-worker, Kevin Bergin, 19, in 1985 in Southampton.

Savage was 17 at the time and a detective testified at trial that the two argued over change to buy marijuana after buying beer. In Bergin's Southampton apartment, Savage stabbed Bergin 17 times -- striking and chasing him from the dining room to living room, then upstairs to the bathroom, authorities said. There, Bergin collapsed and Savage turned him over and stabbed him several times in the chest, police had said.

Savage was convicted of second-degree murder and released on parole in 2008, according to state prison records. His parole ended in 2011, records show.

"He's going to have to answer to his maker," said Eileen Bergin, whose late husband, Lawrence Jr., was Kevin's brother.

The couple had named their son after Kevin, whom she described as a "sweet" person who was trusting and had a brain injury from a childhood car crash.

Bergin said she had worried about Savage being released and making good his threat at the time of the trial to hurt her husband. The extended Bergin family learned two months ago in an online search that Savage had been released, she said.

"You would think if he had changed, he would have tried to contact us from prison and say that he was sorry," Bergin said. "I worried that my children wouldn't be safe.

"At least one chapter is closed."

When he got out, Savage took on various jobs, including construction, and worked as a driver for about two years, said childhood friend, Eric Giroux of Manorville. "Chris was a standup guy," said Giroux, who had rushed to his friend's home and family after hearing Savage had died. "Chris was a guy who did everything he could to work and be happy . . . He didn't want to be one of those [unemployment] statistics."

With John Valenti

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