23 Aug 2014
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UPDATE: Medical Examiner to ID Driver Killed in Edwards Ave. Crash

Riverhead Town Police said vehicle was 'engulfed in flames.'

UPDATE: Medical Examiner to ID Driver Killed in Edwards Ave. Crash UPDATE: Medical Examiner to ID Driver Killed in Edwards Ave. Crash UPDATE: Medical Examiner to ID Driver Killed in Edwards Ave. Crash

Police have not yet identified the truck driver who died after an accident involving an overturned tractor trailer in Calverton on Tuesday.

According to Riverhead Town Police Lieutenant David Lessard, an unidentified male driver in a 2011 Mack trailer carrying sand was heading northbound on Edwards Avenue when the vehicle went out of control and crossed into the southbound lane, sideswiping a 2008 Subaru.

The driver of the Subaru, Joseph Reilly, Jr. of Maplewood, New Jersey, was unhurt in the other vehicle.

The tractor trailer continued northbound, crashed into a large tree on the east shoulder of the road, and burst into flames. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Positive identification by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office is pending, police say.

"The operator of the tractor trailer is a fatality," Lessard said.

A safety inspection of the tractor trailer will be done; the investigation will continue and be handled by Riverhead Town detectives.

Edwards Avenue was closed by the accident and police were diverting traffic.

Calverton resident Hal Lindstrom said he was driving southbound on Edwards Avenue when he saw the flames from about a quarter mile away. "At first I thought it was a brush fire but then I saw flames coming out. It was buring at full blast. It was completely in flames," he said.

Also on the scene were the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Riverhead Fire Marshall's Office, the Riverhead Highway Department, the Suffolk County Motor Carrier and Aviation Units, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The accident occurred near the Miller Environmental Group offices in Calverton, police said. 

The Subaru was impounded pending a safety inspection

Check back to Riverhead Patch for more details  as they become available.

Joseph Pinciaro contributed to this story.

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