UPDATE: Thursday, 11:30 a.m.
Matthew D. Williams, 29, of the Shinnecock Indian Reservation was driving a 1999 Ford Mustang north on Flanders Road about two miles north of Old Riverhead Road, when icy conditions caused him to crash into a tree, trapping him in his car, Town Police said.
A Hampton Bays Fire Department heavy rescue unit responded and began working to free him, but during the rescue, Mr. Williams, who was critically injured, lost consciousness. He was later pronounced dead at the scene, Det. Sgt. Costa said.
Mr. Williams was the sole occupant of his vehicle, and he was following another vehicle that had three of his friends in it. All were on their way to Riverhead, police said.
The other car, which had nothing to do with the accident, was traveling in front of the Mustang, lost sight of it, turned around, came upon the accident scene and called it in to police, Det. Sgt. Costa said.
The road was closed for several hours as police investigated.
Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance crews and the Suffolk County medical examiner’s office also responded.
Mr. Williams was a 2002 graduate of Southampton High School and the son of a school security guard and bus driver, according to Southampton School District Superintendent Dr. J. Richard Boyes. One of the first responders at the scene was Lou Stellato, a teacher in the district who is also with the Hampton Bays Fire Department, Dr. Boyes said.
Many Southampton staff and students were upset by the news, which the district broke in a morning meeting. Counseling is being offered, and the superintendent said some students and staff had already left for the day because of their grief.
A single-car fatal crash killed a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation on an icy road on Flanders Road in Hampton Bays early Thursday morning.
The crash occurred on Flanders Road north of Old Riverhead Road and was called in by a passing motorist as an accident with physical injury at 1:51 a.m., said Sergeant Howard Kalb of Southampton Town Police. He said he had no details on specifics of the accident, but Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa confirmed the fatality.
Additional details were not immediately available from police, but the Southampton School District posted on Facebook Thursday morning the following message: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Matthew Williams. Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with his father, Mitch, a Southampton School District safety officer and bus driver, and all who knew and loved Matt.”
Reached by phone, Shinnecock Indian Nation spokeswoman Beverly Jensen said of Mr. Williams’s crash, “This is a tragedy for us. We’ve lost another young man, and we lost two not too long ago.” She was referring to a double-fatal car crash into a tree that killed tribe members Duane “D.L.” White, 22, and Jason “Tek” King, 33, in late April on the nation’s border with Southampton Village.