Town records related to an Aug. 8 car accident involving Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci twice refer to the driver as having “fled the scene,” citing the Suffolk County police.
Lupinacci crashed into a utility pole about 12:45 a.m. on West Hills Road near Chichester Road in Huntington, a town spokeswoman acknowledged last week when asked by HuntingtonNow.
The town spokeswoman said Lupinacci was slightly injured and in shock after the crash, and, unable to find his cellphone, began walking toward a neighbor’s house to summon help. On the way to find help, the town spokeswoman said, Lupinacci encountered a passing motorist, who he asked to call police.
But records from the town’s “q-alert” system quote Suffolk police as saying that a caller notified them of the crash after finding the 2018 town-issued black Chevy Tahoe crashed into a utility pole, which was snapped in half.
Police said they issued no citations.
The town service request system, which first reported on the accident at 1:33 a.m., refers throughout the account to the car by its license plate number or as the vehicle but never names the supervisor.
The system also says police notified the town of the accident.
The reporting system records start at 1:33 a.m. Aug. 8 and continue until 3:36 a.m. There is one final report recorded at 12:08 a.m. Aug. 9 with this “(Cirigliano) Delta One brought back keys from that town vehicle, also the cellphone of that person who fled the scene of the accident.”
That appears to be a reference to Joe Cirigliano, the town’s public safety director. After the crash, the town General Services department towed away the vehicle, which was taken to a Huntington Station auto shop for repairs. The town estimated the cost of repair at $22,000.
Lupinacci, who was southbound on West Hills Road when the crash occurred, blamed it on wet road conditions.
The police department initially said on Aug. 16 that it had no record involving Lupinacci’s name but the next day. emailed to say that it had found a report in its computer system, saying that Lupinacci’s vehicle slid on wet pavement and struck a utility pole 50 feet north of Chichester Road. No injuries.”
PSEG-LI told HuntingtonNow last week that the broken pole belonged to Verizon and though the crash didn’t initially cause an outage, it had to shut off service to 390 customers for 19 minutes.
Images accompanying the reports show extensive damage to the front driver’s side of the vehicle. The broken pole was still dangling at the scene Thursday, with safety cones in front of it and another pole nearby.