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Southampton police chief’s car hit when he tried to help others

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki gets sworn into

Southampton Police Chief Steven Skrynecki gets sworn into office Monday, May 1, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / Rachelle Blidner

Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki said his car was rear-ended Thursday while he was pulling over to assist a disabled vehicle in North Bellport.

Skrynecki said he was driving home to Hicksville after work when he noticed a landscaping truck “billowing with smoke” on the westbound side of Sunrise Highway near Station Road. At least two men were “frantically” trying to open the truck’s hood.

Skrynecki, who was still in uniform, said he was concerned the truck could catch fire.

“I moved over to try and render some assistance, and as I was slowing to pull over onto the shoulder, I was struck by a driver who was behind me,” the chief said.

Other cars also were struck, officials said. A Suffolk County Police spokeswoman said Sunday she could not confirm who was in the crash or provide more details about the accident, which involved as many as four vehicles.

No one was seriously injured, police said. Sunrise Highway was closed at Station Road for about an hour after police were called to the scene at 6:41 p.m.

Skrynecki said Sunday he was feeling “great” physically and was even able to play golf.

The police chief, whose town-owned Chevrolet Impala was damaged in the accident, was already to receive a new Chevrolet Tahoe after the Southampton Town Board approved the $44,391.11 purchase in a June 13 meeting.

Skrynecki said he is planning to launch a campaign this week to raise awareness about the need for drivers to go around stopped police vehicles. Another town police car was struck while pulled over last week, tearing off a door, he said.

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