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Tow truck operator killed in Shoreham crash identified

A tow truck operator killed in a motor vehicle crash in Shoreham Saturday night has been identified as an East Moriches man, Suffolk County police said.

According to a police report, the collision occurred shortly before 8:30 p.m. when Gian Russo, 39, was dispatched to Route 25A, east of Defense Hill Road, to tow an unoccupied, disabled vehicle.

The tow truck was parked on the shoulder of the roadway, facing westbound, when a westbound 2008 Ford Taurus driven by Betty Lutz, 72, of Coram, struck both the disabled vehicle and Russo, who was hooking up the vehicle to the tow truck.

Russo was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner, and Lutz was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

All of the vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Seventh Squad at 631-852-8752.


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