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Feb 3, 2010 1:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

One dead and 15 injured in Northampton bus crash

Feb 3, 2010 1:15 PM

One man was killed and 15 people were injured when a Suffolk County Transit bus struck a car on County Road 51 in Northampton Tuesday morning, according to Southampton Town Police.

The driver of the car, 21-year-old Michael Brown of Greenport, was killed when he drove his 2000 Ford Focus through a stop sign at the end of County Road 63 and was broadsided by the bus, which was traveling north on County Road 51 at 7:40 a.m., police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, according to police.

The 14 passengers on the bus, as well as the driver, John Bravata, 56, of Ronkonkoma, were taken by ambulances to either Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead or Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue, where they were treated for minor injuries, according to authorities.

A number of departments responded to the scene, including Southampton Town Police, Flanders-Northampton Volunteer Ambulance, Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance, Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance, East Quogue Fire Department Ambulance, the Riverhead Fire Department and Suffolk County Department of Public Works, police said.

Police said they closed the northbound lane of County Road 51 between the intersection of County Road 63 and the Suffolk County Center in Riverside for nearly four hours following the accident. The southbound lane of County Road 63 
was closed between Old Westhampton Road and County Road 51 for approximately four hours and 30 minutes, according to authorities.

The Suffolk County bus was traveling along route S66, which takes passengers from Patchogue to the Suffolk County Center in Riverside, according to Suffolk County spokesman Dan Aug.

Southampton Town Police said they are still investigating the incident and no one has been charged in the crash. Police are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to call the department’s tip hotline at 728-3454 or send an e-mail to crimetips@southamptontownny.gov. All tips will remain confidential.

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suffolk county transit drivers are not good drivers. i hot hit by one a few years ago and the same driver had a previous incident where he left the curb before a woman had completely exited the rear door of the bus. i would not reccomend people ride these buses.
By local (106), north sea on Feb 3, 10 12:33 PM
1 member liked this comment
Pleasew read the story with greater care. The 21 year old driver of the went through the stop sign, not the Suffolk County driver.
A tragic event for all. My sympathies to the family of the young man and to the injured on the bus.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Feb 7, 10 4:24 PM
the driver had the right away at 55mph
By duckman (2), flanders on Feb 3, 10 12:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
That's, "Right OF Way".
Which of course doesn't matter if your injured or killed in an accident.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Feb 7, 10 4:22 PM
Sorry to say but, a light is desperately needed there as there have been many deaths at that intersection. The religious cross marker there just isn't enough of a deterrent. So sad.
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Feb 3, 10 1:10 PM
As opposed to the driver in the car who went through a stop sign? Are you kidding me? I use Suffolk Transit on a daily basis and many people seem to think their vehichile can take on the buses.
By gfhq94a (2), babylon on Feb 3, 10 9:04 PM
Which driver are you speaking of?
By gfhq94a (2), babylon on Feb 3, 10 9:05 PM
This intersection is and always has been a nasty one and one to take extra care at. Many drivers coming north up CR51 are easily going 75-80. Cops doing radar on this open stretch are not seen very often if at all.

This also isnt very far from where that officer crashed his ferrari killing himself and his buddy. In this 2-3 mile radius there have been MANY fatal accidents, the memorials are all there to be seen.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Feb 3, 10 11:27 PM
That June 2009 Ferrari accident was on the Speonk-Riverhead Road, not CR51, and was solely driver malfeasance, not driver error. Different road, different cause.

I go through that intersection at a minimum of twice a day as I suspect that my neighbor Johnny Nova must as well. I don't see the need for a traffic light. There is plenty of visibility coming out of Lake Avenue.

I think the more dangerous intersection in the area is in Flanders (CR105 and Quogue-Riverhead Road) where ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Feb 4, 10 1:13 PM
Where did i say the ferrari accident happened on cr51? I said it 'isnt far' from this bus accident, probably not even 2 miles away from one other. CR51 and Speonk-Riverhead road are both high speed raceways.

And it was both driver malfeasance AND driver error...error coming from losing control of his high performance vehicle at a high rate of speed.

By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Feb 5, 10 7:36 PM
The driver drove thru the stop sign. I think some you missed that part of the article. I agree that intersection has a bad reputation and perhaps it is time to create change, but I must say there is PLENTY of signage. Next time you go thru it COUNT the number of signs there. Matter of fact I once said to my daughter that the signs themselves are distracting and could cause an accident simply b/c you are trying to read too many signs!! It was daylight, there is plenty of visibility at the intersection, ...more
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Feb 4, 10 5:05 PM