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Police Release Name Of Driver In Fatal Flanders Accident Friday

No charges were filed, police said.

Southampton Town police have released the name of a driver involved in a fatal car accident that killed a bicyclist in Flanders on Friday evening.

The driver of the Grand Cherokee was Frank Austria, 72, who was not injured in the accident, police said. No charges are expected to be filed. 

Southampton Town police originally reported on Friday at around 7:45 p.m., a call was received of a motor vehicle accident involving a single motor vehicle and a bicyclist in Flanders.

Police said a vehicle, described as a gray 1998 Grand Cherokee, was traveling north in the northbound lane of Flanders Road, near the Cabana Latina, at the intersection of Flanders Road and Cypress Avenue, when it was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a bicyclist.  

Investigators believe the bicyclist, Robert L. Nelson, 50, of Flanders, crossed into the vehicle’s lane of travel leading to the accident, causing him to suffer serious physical injury.

Nelson was treated on scene by the Flanders-Northampton Volunteer Ambulance; he was subsequently transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident.

The on-scene investigation led to a road closure on Flanders Road between Wood Road Trail and Evergreen Road, in Flanders.

The report was called into police headquarters by the Flanders Fire Department, who were responding to a fire alarm in their district.  

Members of the Southampton Town police department’s patrol division, community response unit, and detective division rushed to the scene, along with members of the state police and the Flanders-Northampton Volunteer Ambulance.  

The accident was the second fatality involving a motor vehicle and a bicyclist in two days in the area: A bicyclist was struck and killed Thursday afternoon after police say a man driving under the influence of drugs and who was high on methadone with his four children in the car crossed over Route 25 near Calverton National Cemetary and hit the man head-on.

Riverhead Police identified the alleged driver – charged with violating Leandra's Law, a felony – as Middle Island resident William Slatton, age 30. Cops said four children under the age of nine were in the car at the time of the accident.

Police said Slatton was driving a 2005 Toyota Camry westbound on Route 25 when his car veered across the road, into oncoming traffic, and hitting a bicyclist later identified as Brightwaters resident Steven F. Kane, 57.

Southampton Town Police Department are conducting an on-going investigation into the Flanders incident. Anyone with information about the accident is encouraged to call the Southampton Town police department’s detective division at 631-702-2230, the Southampton Town police department’s general line at 631-728-3400, or the CRIME TIPS Hotline, at 631-728-3454.  All calls will be kept confidential.  


vicki j November 05, 2012 at 11:19 PM
So why release his name?
Walter S November 05, 2012 at 11:57 PM
This is such a bad stretch of road- RT24, from Evergreen down to the Hamptons Deli. How many fatalities have to happen there before Southampton town does something? Maybe even a couple of blinking lights? I feel I am taking a chance on my life every morning I come out making a left onto Rt24 from Oak. It is a blind turn, cars, trucks from the trade parade are doing 60-70mph (it's a 40) going east (south) on Rt24 every morning- it is freakin scary. I cannot count how many times I thought I was going to be broadsided by cars and trucks going at an excessive rate of speed and if you blink- you're dead. The town could make a fortune with a speed trap there especially in the early morning hours. Add to this all the contractors stopping along this stretch picking up and dropping off day laborers which also creates a hazardous situation. Traffic lights are needed along this stretch, at least three and maybe this will deter some of the trade parade back to using LIE exit 70. Secondly, the town should make law that anyone walking late at night be required to have reflectors on their jackets or clothes, they are cheap and they just stick on to whatever you're wearing. People are crossing this road at all hours and at all points wearing dark clothes, drivers cannot see them till it's too late.
Concerned in Flanders November 06, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Absolutely agree. Coming out my driveway (opposite East Ave), I say a quick prayer first. The speed limit of 40MPH is ridiculous to begin with, and then its not even enforced. How come its 25MPH on Montauk Hwy entering Southampton Village (and strictly enforced) but its basically a freeway in Flanders? Because no one cares when poor people or immmigrants get killed, thats why. I've lived on this road for 10 years now, and there must be a pedestrian fatality every six month on average, thats being conservative. How come no one is doing anything about this? Southampton PD? NYSDOT? Southampton Town? I wont hold my breath waiting for the answer that wont come.....


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