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Police & Fire

Man Charged With BWI In Long Island Boat Crash That Killed One, Injured Three

A man has been with BWI following a boating crash in Mattituck in the waters off Old Salt Road, that left one woman dead.
A man has been with BWI following a boating crash in Mattituck in the waters off Old Salt Road, that left one woman dead. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

An East Northport man has been charged with boating while intoxicated following a powerboat crash that left one woman dead and three others injured.

Francesco Distefano, 48, was charged on Monday, Nov. 11, following the Sunday, Nov. 10 crash that took place around 9:17 p.m. when a 39-foot Cobalt powerboat he was allegedly piloting smashed into a bulkhead fronting on Great Peconic Bay, Southhold Police said.

Police discovered the vessel approximately 150-feet from the shoreline with four people on board. The four sustained serious injuries to varying degrees, police said.

There was substantial damage to both the bulkhead and the vessel indicating that the collision occurred at significant speed.

Two of the occupants were airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital via Suffolk County PD helicopters. The other two occupants were transported to Peconic Bay Medical by Mattituck and Cutchogue Fire Department ambulances, Southold Police said.

Kelley Blanchard, 27, of Riverhead, was pronounced dead at PBMC. Distefano, Nick Soullas, 41, of Jamesport, and Megan Blanchard, 29, of New Suffolk, all remain hospitalized.

Distefano, the owner of the vehicle, was charged with BWI. Police anticipate additional charges as the investigation is ongoing.

First responders from the Mattituck and Cutchogue Fire Departments responded to the scene. Southold Town Bay Constables and officers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation assisted at the scene.

In addition, the New York State Police assisted in the investigation which is being led by the Southold Town Police Detective Division.

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