Driver Recalls Terror of Crash on Route 114

An East Hampton Fire Department heavy rescue team had to extricate the driver of a Ford Transit Connect cargo van from his vehicle after it rear-ended a much larger truck on Route 114 in East Hampton last Thursday. Carissa Katz

One of the drivers involved in a collision between two commercial vehicles on Route 114 in East Hampton last Thursday remains at Stony Brook University Hospital, his condition upgraded yesterday from critical to stable. The other driver, who was less seriously injured, was taken to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital after his dump truck was rear-ended around 7:30 in the morning, according to the East Hampton Town Police Department.

According to police, Joseph Lambiase, a 59-year-old East Hampton man, had come to a stop in his 1996 dump truck in order to make a left turn into his driveway when the truck was struck from behind by a 2013 Ford Transit Connect cargo van driven by Michael J. Oblein of East Hampton, 34.

A heavy-rescue team from the East Hampton Fire Department had to extract Mr. Oblein from the crushed cargo van. 

Mr. Oblein was said to have been conscious but in shock when rescuers reached him and to be bleeding severely from what may have been a compound fracture. He was taken to East Hampton Airport, where the ambulance was met by a waiting helicopter that flew him to Stony Brook University Hospital, a level-one trauma center. 

Mr. Lambiase said Monday that he had been waiting to turn when he looked into the rearview mirror and saw the cargo van, which was at first a few hundred yards away, approaching. The van never slowed down, Mr. Lambiase said, making up hundreds of yards in seconds before slamming into his dump truck’s rear end. 

Mr. Lambiase said that despite his steering column and seat having been shifted by the impact of the crash he was able to get out of his vehicle, and that when he did he found the bed of the dump truck on top of the front of Mr. Oblein’s van. 

“I was petrified,” Mr. Lambiase said. “I could hear him in there.”

  Mr. Lambiase told emergency medical responders at the scene that he had spine and torso pain. 

 It was Mr. Lambiase’s understanding that Mr. Oblein underwent surgery at Stony Brook. He has been monitoring Mr. Oblein’s condition, and said that he is praying for his full recovery. 

Route 114 was closed to traffic after the accident, but was reopened by about 9 a.m.

“The big issue is, we need to slow that road down,” Mr. Lambiase said.