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Funeral Arrangements Set for Barbara Tocci, Who Lost Her Life On Flanders Road

Services begin tomorrow for the woman killed tragically on Flanders Road this week.

Photo Credit: Paul Tocci
Photo Credit: Paul Tocci
Funeral services have been set for Barbara Tocci, who died in a tragic accident on Flanders Road on Thursday.
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A wake will be held at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home, located at 336 Marcy Avenue in Riverhead, on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. 

A funeral service will be held on Monday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home, with burial to follow at Flanders Cemetery.

After a tragic accident on Flanders Road cut short her life, friends and family mourned her loss and remembered the tremendous impact she'd made on their lives.

One of seven children, Paul Tocci said his sister was a "great person. She never complained."

Tocci said Barbara was a diligent worker.

"She was great, always funny, always laughing. She always did that extra thing for everyone," he said, adding that on their birthdays, she always called the local radio station to have their names announced on-air.

"She did an important job," said friend Jim Dreeben. "She worked for Tom Caulfield’s title search company and looked after Tom since he is homebound from a stroke he had a few years ago."

"She was very good," said Caulfield. "She was the best person going. She was really upbeat and kind. I will miss her very much," he said.

Tocci, who said his family has long been active with the Flanders Volunteer Ambulance, said his sister and her long-time partner, Kent, had shared a love story for 21 years. 

His sister, Tocci said, left behind two children, Thomas and Anthony, who live in California.

"She was one in a million," Tocci said.

The Hampton Bays woman, 47, was killed in a tragic accident on Flanders Road Thursday morning.

According to Southampton Town police detectives, authorities are investigating the crash, which took the life of Tocci, 47. Tocci was originally from the Flanders area and went to Riverhead High School.

Police said the accident took place at 7:57 a.m. near the intersection of Spinney Road and Flanders Road between a PSEG Truck and a Ford Explorer. 

Michael Pepe, 53, was driving a 2005 GMC utility truck southbound on Flanders Road when his vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic and hit Tocci's 2000 Ford Explorer, which was going north, head-on, police said.

Southampton Town police officers and detectives, Flanders Fire Department and Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance responded to the scene. 

Tocci was pronounced dead at the scene. She  was extricated from her vehicle by the Flanders Fire Department and transported to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

The PSEG driver, Michael Pepe, 53, of Bayport, was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The New York State Police Forensic ID & Collision Reconstruction Unit responded to assist in the investigation of the accident scene. 

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s vehicular crimes bureau also responded and the New York State Department of Transportation responded to repair damage to the roadway. 

The Ford Explorer and GMC utility vehicle were impounded for a safety check and further investigation. 

No criminal charges are expected to be filed.

The investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Southampton Town Detectives at 631-702-2230.  

Flanders Road was closed from Bellows Pond Road to Pleasure Drive in Flanders for hours due to the accident. The road was expected to reopen just after 2 p.m.

The accident was the second death Thursday morning in the area. In Laurel, a male jogger was killed during a two car accident. 

Friends and family believe potholes may have contributed to the accident, but police are unable to confirm any specifics.


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