UPDATE, MONDAY, 2 p.m.
Brian Gutierrez-Arteaga, 20, who was a passenger in the vehicle, died Sunday afternoon at Stony Brook University Hospital from burns he suffered in the crash, according to those close to him.
Anthony Rosalia, a Southampton resident who took in Mr. Gutierrez-Arteaga when he was 11 years old and considered him a son, said the driver of the vehicle, Rodrigo Ramirez, and the other passenger, Jeffrey Baron, sustained minor injuries to their hands and feet in the crash. All three were close friends, he said.
Mr. Rosalia said the three were returning home after dropping a friend off on Red Creek Road when a deer jumped in front of the car, causing Mr. Ramirez to lose control of the vehicle and swerve into the woods, where it struck a tree laterally on the side of the vehicle where Mr. Gutierrez-Arteaga was seated, and then caught fire.
“He was an honorable boy,” Mr. Rosalia said of Mr. Gutierrez-Arteaga, adding that he could not have asked for a better son, had he biological children of his own.
He said he welcomed Mr. Gutierrez-Arteaga into his home after his father, Cesar Gutierrez, was forced to leave suddenly for Mexico, and his mother, Marisa Arteaga, who currently resides in East Hampton, had difficulty caring for him and his sister, Surisaddai Gutierrez-Arteaga. Mr. Rosalia said he had known him since he was a young child, as he taught him Bible studies from the time he was 4 years old.
“He was just really a remarkable, remarkable boy.”
Services will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night at the Kingdom Hall of Jehova’s Witnesses at 675 Scuttle Hole Road in Water Mill.
Two men were hospitalized following a single-car accident in Hampton Bays early Saturday morning.
Southampton Town Police said that at about 12:10 a.m. on October 13, a car ran into a tree on Red Creek Road near Upper Red Creek Road and caught fire.
While initial reports were that a man was trapped inside the burning car, when rescue workers arrived a short time later, he was no longer trapped in the car.
Three men, including the driver, were in the car at the time of the accident, police said. Their names were not released by police, who cited an ongoing investigation.
While the Hampton Bays Fire Department extinguished the car fire, the two passengers were rushed to the hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash.
One man was taken to Southampton Hospital. A second man—who had originally been trapped in the car—was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead for the treatment of burns suffered in the accident, police said, but later taken to Stony Brook University Hospital. A Suffolk County Police helicopter was unable to transport him directly to Stony Brook due to a mechanical problem.
The driver of the car refused medical attention, police said.