Guilty Plea in Route 114 Crash

Sag Harbor man could serve two years in jail following accident that left 6-year-old with fractured skull


    William C. Hurley of Sag Harbor pleaded guilty Tuesday to all charges stemming from an accident on Route 114 in East Hampton last July that left a 6-year-old with a fractured skull and sent the boy’s mother to the hospital as well.

     The most serious of the charges against Mr. Hurley, 61, was assault in the second degree, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. He was also charged with two felony counts of vehicular assault, one for each victim, and two misdemeanor charges of driving while intoxicated as well as reckless driving and recklessly causing a serious injury.

     On July 6, Mr. Hurley was driving his 2003 Toyota pickup north on Route 114 at a little after 6 p.m., when his car veered into the southbound lane, hitting a 2006 BMW driven by Elizabeth Krimendahl, whose son, Thadeus Krimendahl, was in the back seat. While Ms. Krimendahl and Mr. Hurley were both hospitalized, as well, there injuries were not considered as serious as the boy’s.

     “I’ve been up since 5:20,” Mr. Hurley told police when first questioned, Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Thomas J. Spota, said Tuesday, adding that Mr. Hurley also told police he had had two vodka and grapefruit drinks before leaving his East Hampton business, Peconic Beverage, for the drive home to Sag Harbor. His blood was drawn at the hospital and was recorded as having a .14 of one percent alcohol level. The legal limit is .08.

     “We are recommending four years,” Mr. Clifford said Tuesday. However, in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Central Islip that day, Justice Fernando Comacho said that he would cap the sentence at two years.

     Mr. Hurley’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., would not comment about the case after he left the courthouse Tuesday.

     He had been in negotiations with the district attorney’s office throughout the discovery process, a process during which the prosecutor shares with the defense the evidence they are likely to produce during a trial. The case was adjourned four times. Mr. Burke has pointed out during previous court appearances that Mr. Hurley, who owns Peconic Beverage, has no previous criminal record and has great support from the community.

            Justice Camacho will pronounce the sentence on April 22.