This story is dedicated to Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, two of our Hampton neighbors.
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So a Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons ends, and people head wearily back to their homes in Manhattan or elsewhere to savor their time here. They are sunburned, happy, relaxed. This, however, is not exactly how two young people from New York City came home.
The story begins not in New York City but Huntington, where a prominent anesthesiologist named Daniel Sajewski lives with his wife Terry. He has a son Dan who is 23 and lives in Brooklyn who at the present time is bartending.
On this particular Memorial Day weekend, however, the good doctor and his wife are not at home. They are off spending the weekend on the North Fork, presumably enjoying the peace and quiet of that part of our community, coming out here in the family car, while leaving at home the bright red 2003 Mercedes CLK 320 convertible, which Dr. Sajewski had bought as a birthday gift for his wife.
As you might have imagined after his parents left for the weekend, young Dan Sajewski was soon in the grand Huntington manse with his girlfriend and at a certain point, after gazing conspiratorially at that beautiful 2003 Mercedes CLK 320 convertible, thought why not borrow this car and go out east for the weekend too? No harm in that. They wouldn’t take it not to the North Fork, of course, but to the other fork, the Hamptons. It would be very unlikely they would run into Dan’s parents there. And of course they’d get back to Huntington before them. Monday was the holiday. They could be home by Monday morning.
And so, these two young people drove out here and enjoyed their time over Memorial Day Weekend with this wonderful red sports car. And then, in the wee hours of Monday morning, they headed home again, toward Huntington, with girlfriend Sophia Anderson at the wheel with the wind blowing through her hair and Dan sitting besides her in the passenger’s seat.
They had no problem for practically all of this trip. But arriving in Huntington, something went wrong. Sophia was driving on Southdown Road, just a few miles from Dan’s father’s home, when she ran out of road at a T intersection. You either have to go left or go right. Instead, Sophia apparently missed that choice and simply went straight – and she must have been going very fast – because she came across the front lawn there at high speed, and plowed not only into the front of a house, but into the interior of it, through the kitchen and, mixed up with the refrigerator, dishwasher and kitchen table, came slamming into and through the back wall and out into the darkness of the backyard where the car came to a stop about ten feet behind the house.
Living in this house, fast asleep at that time, was a 96-year-old woman named Helen Indiere. The commotion, as you might expect, woke her up. And so she came down to see what was going on.
The following account was given by Indiere’s granddaughter to a reporter with New York Post. She had talked to her grandma.
The first thing she saw was young Dan Sajewski, standing there.
“Who are you? Why are you in my kitchen?” she asked.
“I can’t answer any questions. I’ve just been in an accident,” he said. He then tried to shake hands with her. It was true they were in what once was a kitchen.
Police arrived soon thereafter. The driver, Sophia, was found almost miraculously unharmed too, although her face was covered with cuts and scratches. Amidst this carnage, the police asked Sophia to describe what happened. She said something with the power steering got stuck and she couldn’t control it so it plowed into the house. The police asked if she had been drinking and she said she had had three beers. This is all in the police report. She was then asked to take a breathalyzer test which she agreed to do. The results were available shortly. She had a blood alcohol content of .30, about four times the legal limit, the equivalent of 15 drinks. She was then arrested and taken away to spend the rest of the night in custody. On May 29, she appeared in court with her lawyer John LoTurco, handcuffed and dressed in skinny jeans, a neon green shirt and matching socks, where, without shoes she pleaded not guilty. Also, her lawyer has said they plan to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer test.
A photographer for the New York Daily News came around to the Indiere house and took an extraordinary picture of the front of it. There is a sign on the front door with print on it too small to read and next to it, about four feet to the right, there is this enormous round hole in the wall—about five feet wide and seven feet tall—tall enough for, say, a Mercedes-Benz to get through. From the angle the photographer took the picture, you can see straight through to the back yard of this house to where this red Mercedes bathed in sunshine, and covered with debris is sitting peacefully.
One imagines insurance appraisers are on the way.
According to officials, the house has been condemned.
Family members are trying to make bail for Sophia as this is being written.
And there is still no word about what Dr. Sajewski said to his son when he got home. A relative of the Sajewskis told the New York Post that Dan did not call his father for at least two hours after the crash.