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May 26, 2010 11:38 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Two students hospitalized after Route 114 crash

May 26, 2010 11:38 AM

Two students from the Ross School were hospitalized on Tuesday afternoon after their car was totalled in a collision with a Southampton Brick and Tile Truck on Route 114, according to East Hampton Town Police.

August Bouker, 67, of East Hampton was driving a 2006 Kenworth truck south on Route 114 when he rear-ended a 1993 Honda Civic that had stopped to make a left-hand turn onto Montauk Boulevard, said Lieutenant Christopher Hatch. The black Honda Civic was destroyed in the crash and both the driver and passenger were hospitalized with injuries.

Olivia Cunningham, 17, of Sag Harbor was driving the car and complained of head and neck pain and was taken to Southampton Hospital by ambulance.

Ms. Cunningham’s passenger, Emily Watson, 15, who lives on Montauk Boulevard, also complained of head and neck injuries and had a laceration from the impact. She was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center.

“From what we can see, the driver of the Kenworth indicates he did not see the black Honda until the last minute and by then collision was unavoidable,” Lt. Hatch said.

He said the accident is still under investigation but at this time it appears neither driver was in violation and no tickets have been issued.

Lt. Hatch said the passenger had been sitting in the front seat, which was almost touching the front windshield as a result of the impact. He said the East Hampton Fire Department was called to the scene because it appeared the girls would need to be extricated from the car, “but they were able to remove them without it,” he said.

He said both injured students were conscious when taken to the hospital.

The accident took place around 4 p.m., Lt. Hatch said, and that section of Route 114, between East Hampton and Sag Harbor, was closed off for almost two and a half hours while officers investigated.

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Were the girls' using a turn signal?
By ehresident57 (4), East Hampton on May 26, 10 11:47 AM
I was the driver and yes I did have my turn signal on
By livsc (2), SAG HARBOR on May 26, 10 5:41 PM
I'm so glad you are ok. When I read the story and saw the photo of the car, I almost cried. God Bless you and your friend.
By marymare (12), east hampton on May 27, 10 11:28 AM
So glad you are both ok... I was the person who stopped to help and called your mom for you...I have been praying since I left the scene yesterday
By lls (1), manhattan on May 27, 10 7:24 PM
That's the only thing that came to mind? Nothing if they were ok? unreal.......
By 1640sWhaler (74), Sag Harbor/Easthampton on May 27, 10 8:13 PM
good thing no one was sitting in the back
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on May 26, 10 11:55 AM
One of the students is a Ross Student, the other is a Pierson Student
By sagharborparent (30), sag harbor on May 26, 10 2:01 PM
According to the Ross School Communications Coordinator, both students are from the Ross School.
By Erin Geismar (1), East Hampton on May 26, 10 2:16 PM
We spoke to the communications coordinator again, and she confirmed that one of the crash victims was a Pierson student. The story has been updated to reflect that.
By BOReilly (135), 27east Web Editor on May 26, 10 3:52 PM
the car is a Honda Accord, not a Civic
By dko65 (3), Southampton on May 27, 10 12:46 AM
Police should check to see if the driver was texting at the time of the accident.
By newrunnah (3), Southampton on May 26, 10 4:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
truck driver was not texting
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 26, 10 4:32 PM
that was my initial thought......
By marymare (12), east hampton on May 27, 10 11:29 AM
an absolute miracle that those girls are walking away from this..their Guardian Angels were on the job last evening...
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on May 26, 10 5:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
I dont know if it really matters but the car was a honda accord not a honda civic
By livsc (2), SAG HARBOR on May 26, 10 5:43 PM
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on May 26, 10 6:39 PM
i think he was napping a woke up at the moment of impact.
By asurest (117), easthampton on May 26, 10 7:39 PM
we are glad that you are here to type to us god bless
By asurest (117), easthampton on May 26, 10 7:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hope both girls are ok..

Unless doing a local delivery, why was that truck on that road? Coming from Sag Harbor Village (or going to) in the village, it is my understanding that trucks that size are prohibited from village roads.
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on May 26, 10 8:10 PM
Now I know why I couldn't pass Steven Hand's Path. Amazing they survived..don't want to get in the way of a Kenworth...God speed to all involved.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on May 26, 10 8:45 PM
1 member liked this comment
Now trucks arent allowed on rte 114...a state road...when did this start? also if he was heading north im sure the bright sun , may have had something to do with it........esp in that area. ps - not the village of anything in that area.....
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on May 26, 10 9:09 PM
Sunglasses are an easy fix---and strong sun should not an excuse when operating a vehicle, espeically one of that size
By easthamptondream (4), east hampton on May 27, 10 5:27 PM
If he was on 114 he had to either go through the village to get to 114 or he was going that way. If he was going through the village to use 114 as a bypass to 27 he shouldn't have been doing that.
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on May 26, 10 9:41 PM
thats not at all accurate, check you boundaries again....stephen hands path ? not village, swamp road, not village, airport road, not village...help me out here
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on May 28, 10 2:07 PM
I don't know the facts so my comments are just general statements. Obviously it's important to watch out for what is in front of you, but I also watch out behind me, especially on these roads with one lane in both directions and no turning lane. I see people at times making a left turn positioned way in the right side of the lane. When making a left you should be as far left as possible in order to give vehicles behind you space to go around, not only to keep traffic moving, but as an escape route ...more
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on May 26, 10 9:47 PM
I am always concerened about drivers and driving in the Hamptons. I live off 27 in East Hampton, and I am always concerened on the one lane roads, when i am far left making a left turn, how many drivers speed up and buzz right past me at full speed, dricving on the shoulder, which again is extremely dangerous as that is where pedestrians and riders are.
By easthamptondream (4), east hampton on May 27, 10 5:46 PM
All I can say is God Bless those 2 young women...that their families are not having to plan funerals. Looking at the car, it is a miracle neither was killed. I am so happy that they are okay. Guardian Angels indeed...I think the Big Man himself was there on the scene. Please be careful out there everyone. Fatalities on Memorial Day weekend are becoming the norm unfortunately. Thankfully not in this case. All I can think of is my daughter & I will most certainly hug the hell out of her when she ...more
By trublnocknatmydr (35), East Hampton on May 26, 10 10:02 PM
If the Big Man himself was on the scene why did he even "allow the accident to occur? Did he get there just after the crash? I think you see where I'm going with this..... see Christopher Hitchens.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 27, 10 8:19 PM
I see, but apparently you don't see thru the same glasses and thankfully I don't look thru yours. We are all entitled to our belief systems & opinions. That's what makes us so interesting to each other or we'd all be boring vanilla. I happen to believe that God did save those girls. He didn't cause the accident, human error did. To each his own. Since when can not rejoice that lives were spared, but be condemned for our replies, in the positive, in a public forum? Peace to you, whoever you may be. ...more
By trublnocknatmydr (35), East Hampton on May 27, 10 11:53 PM
I am not condemning you at all, we all do have the right to believe in what ever God or form of Spirituality suits us. I intend to take nothing away from your rejoicing in their lives being spared, whether through a miracle of faith, engineering or even luck. Peace to you as well, I wish no ill upon you.
Enjoy your weekend, may it be safe.
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 28, 10 1:19 AM
Emily Watson--the passenger in this accident--is my sister. As I think everyone here will understand, over the last couple of days I have experienced terror, dread, anger, and finally relief. I'm immensely grateful to all of the witnesses, emergency responders, hospital employees, and friends who helped at and after the accident. It has been a comfort to read the kind thoughts of strangers here who, regardless of their religious beliefs, have taken the time to extend their care and concern. ...more
By cscasf (1), Miami on May 28, 10 1:19 AM
2 members liked this comment
A big thanks to all the fireman, police and ambulance personel who helped my daughter and her friend through this difficult experience.
Also, of course we are so very grateful for the witnesses, friends from my wifes job at the Ross, and the people who happen to live near the accident site for helping the girls.
We are just so happy that the girls were able to survive this horrible accident.
By private (27), sag harbor on May 26, 10 11:10 PM
2 members liked this comment
God Bless you and your family. I"m so happy your daughter will be ok.
By marymare (12), east hampton on May 27, 10 11:32 AM
I cannot understand why the driver of that huge truck was not ticketed. Since when is "I didn't see the car in front of me" an excuse for rear ending another vehicle? Not maintaining a safe distance between you and the car in front of you is a chargeable offense. How about reckless driving? Was he speeding? I'll bet if it were reversed and a 17 yr old rear ended a 67 yr old, the teen would be charged. If there is no offense in plowing into the vehicle in front of you we had better outlaw all left ...more
By dko65 (3), Southampton on May 27, 10 12:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
i agree 100 percent. And i think those who witnessed the accident or who were at the scene know something is wrong here. There is no way that a driver who was obeying the speed limit, and keeping safe distance and paying attention would not have been able to swerve , hit the brakes or do something to avoid this accident. It is one thing to thank God for his intervention here, but more important to note that this driver almost got away with manslaugher-----and it will be another of some of the ...more
By easthamptondream (4), east hampton on May 27, 10 5:52 PM
Just because an accident occurred doesn't mean that a ticket is written, in NYS our insurance is no fault, so tickets aren't written at every accident. In states like FL if an accident happens blame in assessed and a ticket is written.
People screw up, this guy seems to have done just that, but it doesn't mean he is guilty of something and needs to be charged. He could have been going 45 mph, with a truck on that size that would be more than fast enough to do that level of damage to a little ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 27, 10 8:16 PM
You are confusing NYS insurance regulations with traffic violations. The next time you get pulled over for speeding, a broken tail light, etc, try telling the officer he can't ticket you because you live in a 'No Fault' state. Saying the truckdriver screwed up but that he isn't guilty of anything is a bit of a contradiction. Driving a truck of that size and weight is a huge responsibility and when driven carelessly it literally becomes a lethal weapon. The gratitude felt because no one was killed ...more
By dko65 (3), Southampton on May 28, 10 12:21 AM
1 member liked this comment
No I am not confusing the two, I used FL as an example because there when an accident occurs the police officer has to determine who is at fault and cite them for something to establish blame. This happens primarily because of the structure of auto insurance there.

Your suggesting that next time I get pulled over to tell the officer that he can't ticket me because I live in a "No Fault" state is ridiculous, reread what I wrote and I wish you better luck understanding it the next time. Just ...more
By ICE (1214), Southhampton on May 28, 10 1:11 AM
May 26, 10 6:39 PM
Like reply report as inappropriate
fdny7318 (Water Mill)
Total comments by fdny7318: 48


Why do you think this is an appropriate story to make jokes about?
I'm so happy that those girls are ok.
By double standard (1506), quogue on May 27, 10 8:52 AM
2 members liked this comment
Distracted driving is epidemic and downright scary. My wife and son were hit from behind by a teenage girl who was talking on her cell phone a couple of years ago. Luckily, everyone walked away from the accident. I can't even count the amount of times I have seen policemen driving around talking on their cell phones. Is that phone call worth killing someone?
By double standard (1506), quogue on May 27, 10 9:09 AM
And...also, alot of the local companies use the Nextel/Sprint direct connect radios to keep in contact. You can dispute it being a "cell" phone, but walkie talkie or whatever, it is also a distraction. Sure, you can just click the button to talk, but the real issue is locating it in the vehicle when someone beeps you on it. Just an idea of what else may have contributed. And usually, doesn't the truck get impounded for inspection when something like this happens?
By trublnocknatmydr (35), East Hampton on May 28, 10 12:01 AM
i believe they are exempt......could be wrong, check the law
By BCHBUM11968 (81), SOUTHAMPTON on May 28, 10 2:10 PM
I have to agree with dko65. How can you not see the car in front of you? When you drive a truck with that amount of mass, you have to keep a safe distance, in case you have to stop; you can't stop on a dime. The truck driver should be held accountable. Thank goodness the girls made it through this alive. This shouldn't be glossed over because the truck driver is a local man.
By waterlistor (1), Sag Harbor on May 27, 10 10:37 AM
By fdny7318 (60), Water Mill on May 27, 10 5:39 PM

Maybe, a "Senior Moment"?

Not that I like to state the obvious...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 28, 10 2:36 AM
Olivia - Thanks goodness you are OK. You did all you could have done. Let us pray that Mr. Bouker will stay the required 'safe distance' taught to obtain a driver's lis. in the state of New York. If the fine police of East Hampton will not issue a fine or ticket for this, perhaps the employer of Mr. B. will require driving lessons for future truck drivers.
By dd13 (2), Southampton on May 29, 10 11:04 PM
Just want to say thank god the girls will be alright. But i do not understand how no tickets or any kind of truck inspection was done. I thought with commercial accidents that DOT would be called to inspect the truck for safe driving. I could be wrong though. Maybe after all this public out cry something will be done and somebody will be held liable
By eastender69 (1), east hampton on Jun 1, 10 4:02 PM
How can there be no tickets issued. The truck rear ended the car.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jun 2, 10 3:19 PM
It doesn't matter if the car was stopped dead in the roadway. The vehicle behind has an obligation to stop! The truck driver should be ticketed for reckless driving at a minimum. It is alo possible that he was speeding and couldn't stop in time. That would be another ticket. The truck driver must know someone or he would have been ticketed!
By Walt (292), Southampton on Jun 2, 10 3:25 PM