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Oct 7, 2015 10:48 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Driver Identified In Saturday Night Hit And Run Accident That Left Woman Seriously Injured

Oct 7, 2015 10:48 AM

The driver who investigators say fled the scene of an accident near the Shinnecock Indian Reservation on Saturday night, leaving a 66-year-old woman with serious injuries, surrendered to Southampton Village Police at headquarters on Tuesday.

Nakia Bess, 30, who lives on the reservation, left the scene of the two-car accident on foot, along with other individuals who were in his car, said Lieutenant Jose Febo of the New York State Police.

The accident, which took place at around 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, posed a challenge to police when they responded to the initial call, because, Lt. Febo said, “there were several individuals out there who chose to attempt to overwhelm police assets and forced the situation to a point where we would have required physical force to effect the arrest.”

Authorities said that 66-year-old Maureen Dean of Southampton was driving her 1996 Saturn east on Montauk Highway, near West Gate Road, when she was rear-ended by Mr. Bess’s 2004 Honda Civic. Southampton Town Police held the Honda as evidence in the initial investigation.

The impact from the crash caused Ms. Dean’s car to veer off the road and strike a telephone pole. Southampton Fire Department heavy rescue crews had to use the “jaws of life” to cut away portions of Ms. Dean’s car so she could be pulled out by Southampton Volunteer Ambulance crews.

Ms. Dean was picked up by a Suffolk County Police Medevac helicopter at the Stony Brook Southampton college campus and transported to Stony Brook University Hospital. According to hospital media relations, Ms. Dean was still listed in serious condition as of earlier this week.

After the accident, State Police, the County Sheriff K-9 Unit and Southampton Town Police had searched the area for the driver and other individuals who they believe were also in the Honda at the time, but to no avail. Staff from the State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office also responded to the scene.

Mr. Bess has been wanted for numerous other charges, including first-degree reckless endangerment, stalking, and the assault of a family member, Lt. Febo said. Other charges will likely stem from the hit-and-run accident, as well, police said.

In addition to dealing with interference from those who live on the reservation, responding investigators said they have had to contend with other issues, such as the fact that those who live on the reservation are not required to register or insure their vehicles as long as they remain on their land.

“Unfortunately, there is a little-known fact that the Vehicle and Traffic Safety Law, by treaty, isn’t enforced on the Shinnecock Reservation, and occasionally they do wander off onto Montauk Highway,” Lt. Febo said. “That is beyond my control and it certainly is a contributing factor to situations like this, and effectively, without a vehicle and traffic law, there is no ability to proactively stop individuals.”

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Praying for Maureen.

By Country Gurl (106), north sea on Oct 4, 15 9:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
If police want information perhaps they could also release some...like who was the Honda registered to.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Oct 4, 15 9:36 AM
Kikely registered out of state, and without insurance.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 4, 15 4:50 PM
1 member liked this comment
TYPO: "Likely"
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 4, 15 4:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
Why are you so negative? Unless you were there and saw the accident. I too am praying for Maureen. This the second accident of an elderly woman friend of mine who had to be transported up island for treatment. It is a really hard and lengthy time healing from such an accident. So sorry for her.
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Oct 5, 15 3:11 PM
Shame on you ! 66 is not elderly!!!! I hope your friend heals and is back on her feet soon.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Oct 5, 15 3:16 PM
I guess I was just wondering if we're going to have another Sister Jackie moment.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Oct 5, 15 7:49 PM
Odd misconception - what does having out of state plates make a car any more or less likely to be driven illegally? All states have some sort of financial security requirements, and the Interstate Driver license Compact and other multi-state treaties allow police to verify the registration of cars in almost all other states 9there are about 5 that are not in this data-sharing arrangement).
By Funbeer (273), Southampton on Oct 7, 15 2:44 AM
Wrong again idiot.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Oct 9, 15 1:21 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Oct 5, 15 12:38 PM
If an accident occurs causing injury or damage and is the fault of one of these noble folks driving around with out of state plates (that clearly live here) what happens? I guess us silly law followers just take the loss? Real question.
By jams (129), hampton bays on Oct 6, 15 11:03 AM
Bird, I;m with you on this one!!!!
By MaryGrady (40), on Oct 6, 15 1:18 PM
Glad the dirt bag is in custody, hope Ms Dean recovers quickly and gets back home to her family.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Oct 6, 15 5:44 PM

This guy deserves jail time!

By JohnSmith (25), Johnson City, Tennessee on Oct 7, 15 6:19 PM