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Dec 11, 2017 8:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Driver In Monday's Single-Car Crash In Eastport Dies, According to Police

Eastport crash scene on County Road 51 in Eastport on Monday, December 11, 2017. PETER KASSEBAUM
Dec 12, 2017 4:11 PM

UPDATE: Tuesday, 3:45 p.m.

Matthew Hillebrand, who police said was driving the Hyundai, died Tuesday afternoon, according to Suffolk County Police.

Police did not say whether he died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Multiple calls to Stony Brook Hospital seeking the time and the cause of death were not immediately returned.

Police said the investigation was continuing.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Four Good Samaritans and a sheriff’s office lieutenant, who happened to be driving past, saved an unconscious man from his crashed SUV in Eastport on Monday afternoon, just seconds before flames covered the vehicle, according to the Suffolk County sheriff’s office.

Lieutenant Salvatore Petrone was driving southbound on County Road 51 at about 2:51 p.m. when he came upon the accident scene at the County Road 111 on-ramp. Authorities said he spotted the black 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe that has veered off the roadway and crashed into a utility pole. Lt. Petrone determined that the vehicle’s sole occupant must be removed from the vehicle without delay because smoke was filling the vehicle’s cabin, the sheriff’s office stated, then Lt. Petrone and four Good Samaritans who stopped to help freed the man’s legs, which were trapped, and pulled him to safety seconds before the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames.

East Moriches Community Ambulance brought the driver to an area hospital and the Eastport Fire Department extinguished the blaze.

Suffolk County Police later identified the driver as Matthew Hillebrand, 47, of Babylon and said he is in critical condition after being taken to Stony Brook University Hospital by a medevac helicopter.

“The heroic actions of Lt. Petrone and the Good Samaritans saved a life today,” the sheriff’s office stated.

Suffolk County Police said the SUV was impounded for a safety check and the investigation of the crash continues.

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Unfortunately Mr. Hillebrand has passed away due to his injuries. Most heartfelt condolences to the family.
By 2329702 (67), East Quogue on Dec 12, 17 9:42 AM
Sad that he lost his life. With the old telephone poles he may have had a shot. These new poles, in addition to being an eyesore, give no one a chance if hit. Hard to believe we allowed these poles to be erected. Criminal.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Dec 12, 17 3:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
There's a reason guardrails have those collapsible ends. Hit one of these poles and your body just reverberates causing so much internal damage. Dangerous for sure.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Dec 12, 17 10:11 PM
Intersection continues to claim lives.
By rburger (82), Remsenburg on Dec 13, 17 1:43 PM
Yes, these poles are dangerous. One jumped out in front of me the other day.
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Dec 16, 17 8:47 AM