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Jan 12, 2016 5:10 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Hampton Man Dies After SUV Hits Black Ice In Bridgehampton, Slams Into Bus

A vehicle and a transit bus were involved in an accident early Friday morning in Bridgehampton. Ritchard Pintauro
Jan 12, 2016 5:18 PM

An East Hampton man was killed early Friday morning when he lost control of his SUV after hitting a patch of black ice in Bridgehampton and careened into the path of a Suffolk County transit bus heading in the opposite direction.

Southampton Town Police said that 27-year-old Cesar Marin, a native of Ecuador, was driving west on Montauk Highway near Windmill Lane in a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer when he suddenly veered into the eastbound lane and struck a bus head-on.

Mr. Marin was pronounced dead at the scene though, according to a witness, his body was left behind the wheel of his wrecked SUV for nearly four hours after the 6:54 a.m. accident, as investigators awaited for officials with the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office to respond to the scene. Officers draped a white sheet over the driver’s side window as they waited for the medical examiner to arrive.

It is unclear whether or not authorities will perform an autopsy, according to Town Police Lieutenant Susan Ralph.

Lt. Ralph did note that Mr. Marin was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. While he was not speeding at the time, she noted that “his speed was not proper for the roadway conditions,” referring to the presence of black ice due to the freezing overnight temperatures. The speed limit on that stretch of roadway is 45 mph.

Witnesses described a dramatic moment at the scene when a woman—later identified as Mr. Marin’s wife, Alejandra Otavalo—eluded police, approached her husband’s wrecked car, lifted up the sheet, began screaming and collapsed. Lt. Ralph said Ms. Otavalo was so distraught that she had to be transported to Southampton Hospital.

The Bridgehampton Ambulance transported the driver of the bus—Andrzej Jaglowski, 50, of Riverhead—to Southampton Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said. There were no passengers on the bus at the time of the accident and no charges are expected to be filed against the driver, police said.

Southampton Town Police, its detectives, the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office as well as the Bridgehampton Fire Department and Ambulance Company all responded to the scene.

Montauk Highway remained closed for four hours between Newlight Lane and Hayground Road immediately following the accident. The State Department of Transportation Motor Safety Unit also responded to check the safety of the bus and the Chevrolet was impounded by police for a routine safety check as well, police said.

Just 10 minutes prior to the fatal accident, another one-car crash occurred at the same location when a driver lost control of his vehicle because of the icy conditions. There were no injuries in that accident, police said.

On Monday, Ms. Otavalo said in Spanish that Mr. Marin was the best husband and best father for his two young children who currently live in Ecuador.

According to a GoFundMe page created in order to raise money for the funeral, Mr. Marin’s body will be transported to his family in Ecuador. Organizers originally sought to raise $2,000 for the family, but hit that amount in just two days. The goal amount was then raised to $4,000 and, as of Tuesday afternoon, $3,000 had been raised. Additional donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/cesar27.

There were several other accidents reported that morning due to black ice, Lt. Ralph said, adding that Town Police responded to a total of 15 crashes within an eight-hour window Friday.

One of those accidents occurred in Northampton when Michael John Einfeldt, 18, of Eastport lost control of his 2004 Buick LeSabre when it slipped on black ice at 6:55 a.m., just a minute after the fatal accident in Bridgehampton, and slammed into a utility pole on County Road 51. He was transported by Suffolk County Police medevac to Stony Brook University Hospital where, as of earlier this week, he was still listed in critical condition, according to friends.

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yes the roads were terrible and our taxes keep going up!!!!where was the Southampton Highway Dept, they raise our taxes, cut our leaf program and services and now they can't salt the icy roads!!!
By tpbennett (2), hampton bays on Jan 8, 16 8:56 AM
2 members liked this comment
Its a state road, not town.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 8, 16 12:11 PM
Saw one State DOT truck salting in Water Mill this morning, that's it!!!
By MaryGrady (40), on Jan 8, 16 9:09 AM
Horrible looking accident. I hope that those involved are okay.
By Callie (30), Sag Harbor on Jan 8, 16 9:12 AM
Man dead for lack of salt on icy road, shameful
By Tony Ernst (10), Southampton on Jan 8, 16 10:19 AM
The HAMPTONS Bureaucratic leaders treat their LOCAL CITIZENS WORSE then ANY other place I've lived(and I lived in the Bronx).I called police twice while I lived there, no one EVER showed up. Roads are horrendous AND extremely hazardous, instead of correcting the root of the problem, they lower speed limits-AKA TICKET EVERYONE! Money not used for public bathrooms, clearing debris off roads,. They EXPECT donations and volunteers(like Fire Dept) . The police are highest paid in probably ALL of N.Y. ...more
By shivanow (1), East Hampton on Jan 8, 16 10:56 AM
2 members liked this comment
Then leave.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jan 8, 16 12:10 PM
Hi Alec
By Erin 27 E (1216), hampton bays on Jan 9, 16 11:22 AM
I really think it is in poor taste to show photos of the accident with the sheet draped over the door. Obviously the poor victim is still in the car. There's no need to show that.
By Rich Morey (363), East Hampton on Jan 8, 16 4:19 PM
Worse than the Patch used to be.
By Woods woman (135), East hampton on Jan 9, 16 7:44 PM
That photo is about the most tasteless photo I have seen, Just like something you would find in the supermarket rag magazines. HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR THE FAMILY AND THE DESEASED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By J. Totta (102), Sag Harbor on Jan 8, 16 4:22 PM
How in the world could they anticipate black ice when frost has only just started happening recently? Usually roads are prepared with salt or ash when snow or ice storms or freezing rain is anticipated. Highway preparers are not clairvoyant. Let us determine first the speed the driver was travelling and their skill set or impairment (e.g. was the driver a licensed driver? under any influence of alcohol? was the driver texting or using a cellphone?) before casting aspersions on the highway maintenance. ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Jan 8, 16 4:43 PM
2 members liked this comment
No casting aspsersions??? Ummm the facts are we know the roads were icy, and you choose to throw shade at the driver who died? Speeding, DUI, unskilled, using a cell phone? We only know for sure about one possible contributing cause. ICE! Keep your "aspersions" to yourself.
By Arnold Timer (326), Sag Harbor on Jan 8, 16 7:02 PM
1 member liked this comment
"The density of traffic was never meant for these roads..." What a true statement. If the good folks of Southampton and East Hampton Town had not stopped the construction of Sunrise Highway (Rt. 27) to Amagansett, we would not have the problems we have, now and especially in the summer on what is now called Rt. 39. Too late now folks! The birds have flown the coop! Stop complaining! It's your own fault!!!
By mrgatis (2), Montauk on Jan 8, 16 9:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Contributing cause," is the key phrase here. Contributing to what? Everything must be investigated and taken into account. We will not know "everything" until the coroner's report. Even then!? Let's keep an open mind until ALL the facts are known. You make the driver sound like an angel - well maybe he is and maybe he isn't. Vikki K said it right!
By mrgatis (2), Montauk on Jan 8, 16 9:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Please dont make the vikki k's ego any larger than it already is
By Erin 27 E (1216), hampton bays on Jan 9, 16 11:25 AM
Hey - Erin - why are you making this a personal attack on me?
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Jan 9, 16 3:06 PM
Tough crowd;)
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Jan 9, 16 6:49 PM
Agree with your comments above and below dnice - and also replied to Arnold Timer's comments in another paragraph below... generally speaking your comments seem to make a lot of sense - and in particular - yes - this black ice was out of nowhere - but caused 3 accidents within the same time frame that are in the paper and probably others that did not turn out so badly....upstate black ice accident killed a 16 year old friend's friend & co-worker - can never forget that....
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Jan 10, 16 2:42 PM
This bad road day snuck up on us. It is tragic that it happened but sometimes these things are unavoidable. I was quite surprised this am when I slid across the entrance ramp to 39 and the temp was 35. I haven't had to think about icy conditions for a long time. I'll be thinking about it now.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on Jan 8, 16 6:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
Condolences to the family. According to other news sources, the woman pictured next to the vehicle was the victim's wife, who was so distraught that she had to be taken to the hospital. Not an easy way to learn of such a tragic loss . . .

As dnice says, this black ice event snuck up on us. Unless one learned to drive in a location with frequent black ice, the subtle first warnings are often missed at low speeds . . .

Rest in Peace.
By PBR (4930), Southampton on Jan 9, 16 8:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well said PBR...
By bird (793), Sag Harbor on Jan 9, 16 7:34 PM
Whoever posted that photo with the article really thinks its ok to show this poor woman in most likely the worst moment in her life??? For all the world to see? Just wow.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jan 9, 16 8:30 AM
2 members liked this comment
Its really funny how this paper will remove comments for being inappropriate, but they will use this horrible photo to sell their newspaper, YOU SHOULD BE
ASHMED OF YOU SELF MR. EDITOR, Hope your family NEVER has to have
this happen to them then be EXPOLTED BY LOSER PAPER!! Bet they will take this post down and leave this horrible photo!!!!!!
By sagharborparent (30), sag harbor on Jan 9, 16 11:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
IF this is an open forum - my comments about this unfortunate incident & the awful loss of a LIFE were in response to those comments prior to mine. People seemed to be blaming the road maintenance entirely for this accident (and using this incident somewhat coldly to voice their resentment at having to pay taxes.) My thought offers that there may have been other mitigating factors in this very unfortunate circumstance & that the driver himself may have in some way been responsible for what happened. ...more
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Jan 9, 16 2:56 PM
Extremely bad taste to put this poor woman's photo as the lead for this story . This is not the Southampton Press that I grew up with .
By AndersEn (169), Southampton on Jan 10, 16 2:49 PM
Once again -- condolences to the family for your sudden and tragic loss.

When the article is updated for the print edition, perhaps the following apparent inconsistencies can be clarified.

According to the article the victim's SUV was heading west, and the bus eastbound [apparently IMO right in front of the old Corrigan's gas station (now a car repair place) -- see photo 9 of 9 for the cars parked in front of this facility -- assuming all photos are taken from the east near Newlight ...more
By PBR (4930), Southampton on Jan 10, 16 6:48 PM
Funny that I new that would take down my comment but not this horrible photo. Mr, Editor I pray your family NEVER HAS to got thru this horrible accident then be exposed in the paper!! with a nasty photo!
By J. Totta (102), Sag Harbor on Jan 11, 16 8:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
Disgusting use of a photo SH Press - you're supposed to be above that. No one needs/wants to see that, let the family grieve.
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jan 11, 16 9:06 AM
There's nothing wrong with the photo. It's called Journalism.
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Jan 12, 16 11:21 AM
Not appropriate for the Press which covers small town. They could have gotten journalism across in many other ways
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jan 12, 16 11:56 AM
It's called sensationalism . Sure it's a form of journalism and it's extremely tacky .
By AndersEn (169), Southampton on Jan 13, 16 8:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
It is sensationalism, and the Victim's family is further traumatized. The Police will end up extending the crime scenes further and further to keep this photographer and his paper away from the scene - The press can go where the public can go - anything else is at the discretion of the person holding the perimeter. Sometimes police can forget that or even misunderstand it. Very sad situation.
By harrisw (27), sh on Jan 13, 16 11:47 AM
Shame on you, Southampton Press, for publishing a picture of this unfortunate lady who has just learned that her husband was killed in a horrible accident. Such invasive pictures are seen in the worst of the tabloids, but one would hope that The Southampton Press would never stoop to that level. Surely, if this lady lived in the estate section, her picture would not have been published due to its sensitive nature. Shame, shame, shame. You should hang your heads and beg the lady's forgiveness.
By SusieD (112), Southampton on Jan 15, 16 10:38 AM
Drive-in movies,Coopers Beach, Southampton village