By Tessa Raebeck
A Sag Harbor man pled guilty Tuesday to charges that while driving drunk last July, he caused a collision that seriously injured a six-year-old boy, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said in a press release.
William Hurley, 60, of Sag Harbor pled guilty to the seven-count indictment at a court conference in Central Islip. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault in the second degree, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, two counts of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and reckless driving, according to the release issued by District Attorney Thomas Spota.
The charges maintain that while driving drunk on Route 114 in East Hampton Town last July 6, Hurley caused a head-on collision that left a six-year-old boy seriously injured and his mother hospitalized. Hurley was reportedly driving his Toyota pickup truck northbound at around 6:15 p.m. when he crossed the double yellow line and swerved into oncoming traffic where he collided head-on with a southbound BMW driven by Elizabeth Krimendahl, 53, of New York City, according to East Hampton Town Police. His blood alcohol content was .14; the legal limit is .08.
Krimendahl suffered a leg injury in the crash and was taken by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital. Her young son, Thaddeus, was in a car seat in the backseat and was seriously injured and hospitalized with a skull injury.
Hurley, the owner of Peconic Beverage East on Pantigo Place in East Hampton, was taken to Southampton Hospital and then transferred to Stony Brook at the time of the crash.
The cars collided in an area of Route 114 that is one of the road’s rare straight stretches. According to police, Hurley’s vehicle struck Krimendahl’s close to the double yellow line and both cars ricocheted off one another to opposite sides of the road. The truck rolled over before stopping and the front of the BMW, a four-door sedan, was crushed.
“The defendant,” said District Attorney Spota, “who was driving all over the highway crossing over the double yellow line several times prior to the crash, told East Hampton Town police officers that he was tired, and admitted at the scene that he consumed two drinks made of vodka and grapefruit juice, drinks that he described as ‘strong ones.’”
Hurley, who was described by police as having “glassy, bloodshot eyes,” and smelling of alcohol at the scene, said he thought he had fallen asleep at the wheel, according to Spota.
Following Hurley’s plea of guilty, State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho made a sentencing promise to sentence him to two years’ incarceration and two years of post-release supervision.