The driver of a Honda SUV narrowly escaped with her life this afternoon when her vehicle left the roadway on County Road 51 and crashed into a guardrail.
The guardrail split the front end of the vehicle and entered its passenger compartment through the dashboard. The impact of the crash dislodged the steering column and pushed it into the interior of the Honda.
The woman, 26, was driving southbound on the divided highway at about 12:20 p.m. when she drove off the road just south of the county center and hit the guard rail. She was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. A dog traveling in the car with her was unharmed and taken to the Southampton Town animal shelter.
No further information is yet available from Southampton Town Police, who are investigating the accident. It is not known whether any charges were or will be brought against the driver.
Riverhead Fire Department responded to a call for heavy rescue and a possible vehicle fire, because the engine was smoking after the crash. The car did not catch fire and rescue workers were able to remove the driver and the dog from the vehicle without heavy rescue equipment.