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May 25, 2009 5:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Two critically injured in accident on CR39 Monday morning

May 25, 2009 5:34 PM

An early morning accident on Memorial Day on County Road 39 in Southampton, which involved an 18-year-old driver who was later charged with DWI, left two people critically injured.

Chief Wilson said that the driver of the SUV, Ryan M. Rozynski, 18, of Shirley, was charged with DWI on Monday and is expected to be arraigned in Southampton Village Justice Court on Tuesday morning. He suffered minor injuries as a result of the accident and is currently in a holding cell at the Southampton Village Police Department.

The accident occurred at 4:20 a.m. Monday on the eastern side of the County Road 39 and North Sea Road intersection, just in front of the 7-Eleven.

According to Southampton Village Police Chief William Wilson Jr., a taxicab van from Hometown Taxi had been making a left turn off County Road 39 into the 7-Eleven parking lot when a Hyundai SUV smashed into its right side. It’s not yet clear how fast the SUV had been going, Southampton Village Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison said on Monday afternoon.

All three ambulances from the Southampton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and two from the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to the accident to take six people to Southampton Hospital. Two passengers in the taxi, who suffered serious injuries, were later transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center, one by Medevac helicopter and one by ambulance. They are currently listed in critical condition, according to police.

On Monday afternoon, Det. Sgt. Lamison said that the two couples had been renting a group home in Southampton Town, though he would not say exactly where, and were returning there.

In a press release on Monday afternoon, Southampton Village Police said the accident is still under investigation and that additional charges are likely. They also noted that the driver of the taxicab van, whom police identified as 31-year-old Ihsan Peker of Southampton, was issued a summons for failure to obey a traffic device because he crossed over the double yellow line.

County Road 39 was closed for about six hours on Memorial Day as personnel from the Suffolk County Crime Lab investigated the scene.

“Upon first arrival of the police officers on the scene, there were several people lying in the roadway,” said Chief Wilson, noting that at least two passengers in the taxi had been ejected. Though he declined to speculate how fast the SUV had been going, adding that he was waiting for his detectives to issue a press release with that information, he did say that “it was a pretty good impact.”

According to Bryan DaParma, owner of Hometown Taxi, his driver had been waiting for customers at the Pink Elephant nightclub on County Road 39 in Southampton when two couples came out of the club looking for a ride home. He said the passengers asked Mr. Peker if they could stop at 7-Eleven before going to their final destination in Southampton Village. He did not know exactly where they were headed.

Mr. DaParma said that Mr. Peker, who was not seriously injured in the accident, said he made the left into the 7-Eleven parking lot when he had a green left-hand turn arrow at the light on County Road 39, and it was then that the SUV collided with the taxi carrying the four passengers.

“It was right at the worst possible spot,” he said. “They went out and did the right thing, because they didn’t want to get hurt and they didn’t want to hurt other people,” he said, referring to the passengers. “I’d hate to be the mother or the father of the people in the taxi ... It’s just a shame.”

At 8:30 a.m. the scene was left as it had been in the moments after the accident so personnel from the Suffolk County Crime Lab could investigate. The taxicab van was left with most of its right side missing, while the SUV was a short distance away with severe front-end damage. The airbags on both vehicles had been deployed.

Numerous objects were strewn about the sidewalk, including a shoe, a floor mat, a trunk, water bottles, bits of paper and several plastic bags, most of which had been marked with yellow evidence markers.

Several people at the scene on Monday morning watched in horror as the crime lab personnel conducted their investigation.

“I think it’s horrific,” said Melinda Gerard, a security guard at the 7-Eleven who is employed by the security company USPA Nationwide Security.

“The traffic has been insane this weekend,” said one woman, who asked to be identified by only her first name, Celeste. “Everybody was crazy this weekend. People forget you’re supposed to come to the Hamptons to relax.”

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By squeaky (286), hampton bays on May 25, 09 3:22 PM
Mr. Rozyinski should get a life sentence for his behavior, and to top it off he's only eighteen. He's gonna make a great girlfriend for Bubba! What a disgrace to human life!
By jonnyhampton (29), Southampton on May 25, 09 4:41 PM
I am deeply saddened to see that almost one month to the day since I commented how dangerous it is to head west and turn into the 7-11 parking lot (April 22nd article "Despite Recent Fatalities, Officials Say County Road 39 Safer Now" ) it has apparently now occurred.
By SamIAm (35), hampton bays on May 25, 09 6:04 PM
Samiam,,,,, that is not a legal left turn.... go to the light make a left than turn into the parking lot... could save your life
By bpcooke (10), Southampton on May 25, 09 6:18 PM
Drivers today don't even do the basics like signal when they're making a turn
or changing lanes.
The economy is also making people a lot ruder than normal , in my opinion.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on May 25, 09 6:45 PM
I am very sorry for all that got hurt this morning. I pray for all the families involved. I was hit by a drunk driver in 1994 and luckily didnt get hurt and I started the Taxi to help people to get home safely. I belong to MADD, SADD and Student Lifeline along with a partnership withh the Southampton Volunteer Fire Dept to give free rides to all Southampton High School year round free rides if they had been drinking or their ride had been drinking. I offer free rides during christmas though ...more
By HomeTown Taxi (1), smithtown on May 25, 09 7:23 PM
Hey Hometown:

It is a wonderful thought that one day we might be able to read a headline as suggested. Andthank you for offering your support to MADD, SADD etc and for the free ride offers.

Kudos.
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on May 25, 09 8:20 PM
Bryan you are a great person and awesome to your community! May God Bless you!
By jonnyhampton (29), Southampton on May 25, 09 9:37 PM
I have known The Deparmas for years. They have always been very concerned about impaired driving and the safety of their drivers and passengers. It's a shame that it takes an event like this to call attention to the problem.
The nightclubs are open too late.
By unclepete (2), southampton on May 25, 09 10:04 PM
We all know how reckless cab drivers are in the Hamptons. To what we know the SUV driver was in his lane 30 feet past the intersection when the cab driver decided to make a quick, unexpected and illegal left turn through double yellow line endangering his passengers. This accident probably wouldn’t happen if the professional driver would respect the law as we all expect them to.

This 18-year old kid, on the other hand, should've been home at 4 AM. I hope I live long enough to see "0" ...more
By kjrco (1), Southampton on May 25, 09 11:55 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By FTW (2), brooklyn on May 26, 09 12:06 AM
Kjrco... I guess you failed to comprehend that the intoxicated minor blew a red light. Regardless if you feel the cab should have made the turn or not... none of this would have happened if the kid stopped at the light. In addition to that, there used to be a "No Entrance" sign (or something to that affect) at that entrance way into the 7-11 lot. However, it was knocked down (years ago) in another accident and the town never replaced it. The entrance way is deceitful, and people make that turn ...more
By j0hnny (2), shirley on May 26, 09 12:46 AM
Hats off to the members of the SVVA, the SVA, HB and BH ambulance squads who responded, and the SHFD and SVPD. Our crews were phenomenal.
Prayers extended to the family and friends of those injured.
By Uncle Fester (57), Southampton on May 26, 09 12:57 AM
j0hnny... Try reading the article. The driver actually didn't blow a red light. He was making a legal left hand turn when the cab cut him off.
Regardless of whether people make that turn into 7-11 all the time, it was still NOT LEGAL. The cab driver was already charged for an illegal turn and like you said there was a sign there. The sign being knocked down doesn't make it legal...
Try reading before you offer your words of wisdom next time.
By sarahjb (2), shirley on May 26, 09 12:58 AM
Sarah... I am proud that you were able to conjure up that last statement. I hope it was not too difficult.

Red lights, illegal lefts... etc... all in all. The kid WAS charged with a DUI... right? so that would mean at the time of the accident he was not in the right state of mind. Therefore, this whole thing would have (most likely) been avoided had the MINOR not have had any alcohol in his system. Not to mention... the speed limit is only 35mph... did you see the aftermath of the ...more
By j0hnny (2), shirley on May 26, 09 1:33 AM
This is an extremely sad case. Like the article states, you have people doing the correct thing, and something bad happens. It always seems that way. For the people crucifying the cab driver, I think it is terrible. If you read other articles, or watch the news, the drunk driver ran a red light. If you are from the area, you know that that turning lane is host to a green turning arrow, and I have seen many people turn into the entrance of 7-11 exactly where the cab was. There used to be a ...more
By LDeMarco (4), Hampton Bays on May 26, 09 8:43 AM
We can all play a spirited game of `What If` forever. The fact remains that a drunk eighteen-year-old ran a red light, probably at an excessive speed (judging by the damage to the van) and now the victims have to pay the price.
By unclepete (2), southampton on May 26, 09 9:15 AM
I really feel sorry for most of you people. Everyone here is a victim except
the CHILD from Shirley who made choice to get drunk and drive his car.
He should be locked away for the rest of his life. Maybe if we got a little tougher with laws. Chumps like this would not be ruining peoples lives. All
of you all are trying to put blame on the taxi. REGARDLESS if he turned wrong
this CHILD ane I repeat Child mad a choice to drive drunk and risks everyone
else on the roads ...more
By J. Totta (89), Sag Harbor on May 26, 09 9:25 AM
The drunken driven was a bad thing -- but it is just one event. Do you know what is worse? The "drunken" behavior by politicians who pushed through the cr 39 redevelopment.

Missed opportunity to make the town a better place. Disaster with long term consequences.
By deKooning (84), southampton on May 26, 09 10:07 AM
The town needs to start regulating the cab biz. The drivers themselves seem to make up the fares based on the time of night and the sobriety of the clients they serve. It's true that the taxi was hit by a drunk driver but it's clear there is blame on both drivers. Enterring 7-11 from 39 is permitted only if you are heading east. The cab driver in his haste put the customers saftey second. It's true that the drunk driver could have clipped the taxi had he been merely stopped at a red light. ...more
By eastender09 (22), southampton on May 26, 09 11:11 AM
There are qualifications and the taxi business is regulated by the town actually, east ender. They are required to be licensed by the town before being operated. Also, the cars that you see that are unmarked are cars that come from out of town. The taxis out here year round are required to have fares posted in the taxis, so the passengers know how much they will cost before they even get into the car - these rates are approved by the town. There was a huge write up in the Southampton press when ...more
By LDeMarco (4), Hampton Bays on May 26, 09 11:15 AM
As someone who has worked hack myself, the fares come over the radio from dispatch, and the passengers hear it over the squawk.

You have to be fingerprinted, and a background check run before you can legally operate a cab in the town of Southampton.

Limos are unmarked, but not taxis. Limos have plates that state such on the vehicle.

Back to the original subject, this kid was eighteen, drunk, and proceeding in the eastbound lane of CR 39 at a very unsafe speed. The front ...more
By Mr. Z (9651), North Sea on May 26, 09 11:38 AM
wait a sec... i thought the kid was a LOCAL from Shirley? So now only city people drive drunk and make illegal turns?

The true victims here are the taxi passengers - or "Citiots", as you call them - who did nothing wrong except get into a taxi.
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 26, 09 12:13 PM
You misread my intent, I said it was the citdiot infliuence that fosters this type of behavior.

The victims exhibited responsible, adult behavior, and I did not chastise them in the least. Nor did I call them citdiots.

Please do not read so rashly, or into what people have to say.
By Mr. Z (9651), North Sea on May 26, 09 12:46 PM
How in the world does drunk driving and making illegal turns have anything to do with a "city" mentality? People who live in the city generally dont even have cars so how are they influencing bad driving.

Everyone on these boards blames others... city people... immigrants... minorities... gangs...

Sometimes bad things happen
By littleplains (305), olde england on May 26, 09 1:48 PM
County Road 39 is unacceptably dangerous. Making the speed limit 35 has done nothing but encourage people to run lights and pass without thinking.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on May 26, 09 2:24 PM
Its unfortunate that the people who were responsible after drinking and got a ride home in a taxi were the ones who got injured. This teen was drunk and was not a responsible person. Its ashame that people are ripping into Hometown Taxi and blaming them for the accident. It also is ashame that people are saying all taxi drivers drive crazy. If you want to make assumptions like that then why dont we say that all teens are not responsible and drink and drive. Its not true nor is it right.
I highly ...more
By courtesy (43), Southampton on May 26, 09 2:47 PM
Sorry but Shirley is hardly a local, little plains. It's the attitude the upislanders bring here with them that gets them into trouble.
By squeaky (286), hampton bays on May 26, 09 6:28 PM
And has anyone asked where the 18 year old got the booze from? There should be some responsibility there as well.
By gordie howe (55), hockeytown usa on May 26, 09 7:08 PM
i agree with you INS, this was all just an accident waiting to happen. the only reason the taxi drivier is ending up with such a slap on the wrist is because the 18 year old had a BAC probably after working memorial weekend. no one thinks about the realities of these situations. If the town was taking care of the things it should with signs and safety the chances of this happening would of been GREATLY reduced. imagine if you didnt hear the kid had alcohol. imagine where all the fingers would ...more
By buenavista (2), shirley on May 26, 09 8:19 PM
So the 18 year old is being treated as a minor... What was a minor doing out at 4 AM?? If he is a minor, shouldn't his parents take some responsibility in this?? Problem is, to many parents let their kids run amuck just so their kids can be "cool". About time parents take the reins back and act like parents!
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on May 27, 09 7:38 AM
A "glass of wine, perhaps"??? Where are we, France?!
By Miss K. (98), East Quogue on May 27, 09 8:43 AM
Fact: Drinking age is 21 and at no age is it permissable to drink and drive -not, perhaps a glass of wine for the road! This kids father should be sent to jail for being a moron and raising a moron! I bet he wouldn't be saying that if it was his kid in the cab.

Fact: The people in the cab are innocent responsible legal adults that now have to suffer because of this.

Fact: The 18 year old "adult" drank, drove and went through a red light which has put our friends in life threatening ...more
By Bean (2), Bayville on May 27, 09 10:58 AM
You can call this kid innocent all you want. This is not the first time he has broken the law. He was due in court supposedly this week for other charges. He should be charged as an adult. He signed the paperwork to get hs drivers license and become an adult, so he should be held reliable as an adult. If he was a minor, he should still have his drivers permit, not his full license.
By punishing him as a minor, what statue is that setting for all the other 18 year olds out there that drink.....It ...more
By courtesy (43), Southampton on May 27, 09 11:49 AM
Who called the little slime ball innocent?
By Bean (2), Bayville on May 27, 09 11:59 AM
he didnt go through a red light you guys need to do your homework.
and i dont understand how no one can see that the taxi driver is the one who made an illegal turn INTO someone who was driving intoxicated. the fault is to the taxi drivier, and as drivier he should of being doing his JOB of following the road precautions with things like telling his clients to wear seat belts if they didnt care enough to put them on themselves. and the person in the car if it is determined by the appropriate ...more
By buenavista (2), shirley on May 27, 09 3:05 PM
buenavista, making a turn into someone would constitute front end damage, the taxi was hit in the rear passenger side which means he had enough time to execute a turn and was far enough out of the roadway for the person to see him. On ABC they said that it is the law in New York that taxi passengers, just like school buses do not require passengers to wear their seatbelts. You can not force people to wear their seatbelts, that is up to them. Mr. Rozynski was obviously drunk, and going way over ...more
By LDeMarco (4), Hampton Bays on May 27, 09 4:08 PM
Please read this, I found this comment on Newsday from the victim's friends. I think it tells the story:

I was told this is Ryan's 2nd DUI. And the 2nd time he's totaled his parent's car according to his sister. He is not remorseful because he was laying next to our friends in southhampton hospital after they took them all there and didn't say a word to them to apologize or anything although at least one of them was definitely alert and screaming in pain in the bed next to his.

One ...more
By LDeMarco (4), Hampton Bays on May 27, 09 5:51 PM
thanks for posting that information ldemarco. i can't believe that this kid's dad has the nerve to say what he did to the reporters. he needs to keep his mouth shut...especially since the victims were so badly injured.
By haj80 (11), Chapel Hill on May 27, 09 7:17 PM
This kid is not the only person to blame in this incident , and of course he should be dealt with accordingly . The Taxi driver , on the other hand should never have been in that lane . I admit that I have made that same illegal left hand turn on many occasions . Every time I have , I would give a real good look up 39 to be sure traffic would allow me to make that turn . What in the world was the taxi driver looking at ? That light means nothing to me , because I am not turning onto North Sea ...more
By AndersEn (138), Southampton on May 27, 09 8:35 PM
#1: The 18 yr.old was drunk. Where did he get the liquor? Another parent or a bar? They should be held responsible.

#2: The 18 yr. olds parents were irresponsible, letting the minor out on a joy ride at 4 AM. They should be held accountable.

#3: This particular 18 yr. old has no business having a license. He is not mature or ready for the responsibility. He should be held accountable.

#4: The taxi driver was driving recklessly, not obeying road rules. He should be ...more
By AnonymousSgh (183), Sag Harbor on May 28, 09 6:55 AM
what makes you think he was going "way over the speed limit"?
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/crash-test2.htm
take a look at that link and see what a crash at 35mph really looks like. the pictures don't indicate that he was going as fast as or any faster than the speed limit on the road.
By sarahjb (2), shirley on May 28, 09 2:35 PM
This kid should go to jail for a very long time. i hope he gets what he desserves and the judge does not let him get away with a light punishment
By warrior2673 (3), southampton on May 29, 09 12:37 PM
Remnants, area rugs, rolls in stock