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Driver in one-car Sunrise Highway crash unlicensed, cops say

Suffolk County police said a male driver was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries after a one-car crash on Sunrise Highway at Exit 57 in Yaphank on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. (Credit: James Carbone)

An unlicensed driver on Sunrise Highway careened across the median in Yaphank and slammed into a roadway sign pole on the opposite side Wednesday morning, Suffolk police said.

Wilfredo Zaldivar-Aguirre, 24, of Southampton, was going east near Exit 57 at Horseblock Road when he lost control of his vehicle about 10:45 a.m., police said. He was later cited for “unreasonable” speed, with police saying it had caused him to leave the road.

“I was coming westbound going to work at Brookhaven Hospital, and I noticed the car in the eastbound lane driving erratically, and next thing you know I saw him cross over,” said Jamie Herold of Medford. “He . . . hit the pole and the car basically exploded.”

The driver had to be extricated by officers from the emergency service unit and was flown to Stony Brook University Hospital, said Det. Sgt. John O’Sullivan of the Fifth Precinct.

His vehicle was crumpled against the metal pole and guard rails, and police said investigators initially believed he sustained serious injuries, but doctors found minor injuries, largely cuts and bruises.

Debris from Zaldivar-Aguirre’s vehicle struck the westbound vehicle of another motorist, who was not injured, police said.

Detectives are expected to question him Thursday at the hospital.

“He’s very lucky — as well as other motorists — that no one else was injured and he wasn’t more severely injured at that location and that time of day,” O’Sullivan said.

Sunrise Highway, which had been closed between Exit 57 and William Floyd Parkway at Exit 58, reopened by 2 p.m., police said.

With Joan Gralla

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