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Alleged drunken driver hurts officer who was investigating crash, police say

An alleged drunken driver collided with a police vehicle on the scene of an earlier crash in Wading River, causing non-life-threatening injuries to an officer, according to the Riverhead Town Police.

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The injured officer had been in one of two marked police vehicles dispatched at roughly 10:30 p.m. to the previous crash, in which a motorist failed to negotiate a curve and ran off the road onto the shoulder due to fog, at Wading River Manorville Road, just north of State Route 25 in Wading River, the release said. The crash had been reported by a passing motorist.

“While standing by, one of the officers went back to his marked unit and began running data and preparing paperwork and was seated in the front passenger seat of the unit. A short time later, the marked police unit was struck by another vehicle traveling northbound on Wading River Manorville Road. The force of the collision pushed the police cruiser off the roadway and onto the eastern shoulder, with both vehicles sustaining extensive damage,” the release said.

The officer, whose name was not disclosed, was assisted by colleagues on the scene. He was taken to the Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

The alleged drunken driver, 47-year-old Kenneth Hamilton of Wading River, had “noticeable impairment” and “an odor of alcohol,” the release said. A field sobriety test was administered, according to the release, which didn’t disclose the findings. He is being held until arraignment. The release said he was not hurt. He couldn’t be immediately reached for comment, and no attorney was identified.

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