By Marissa Maier and Marianna Levine
Nearly two weeks after a fatal accident occurred on County Road 39, another local resident has died on the road – this time a 16-year-old Bridgehampton Student – on Saturday, April 11.
At around 4:30 p.m., Southampton Town Police received a report of an accident in front of the Starbucks on County Road 39, near the intersection of North Sea Road. The Southampton Volunteer Ambulance, Village Police and Fire Department responded to the scene, but it was soon ascertained that Pablo Saldivar, 16, who lived on the Sag Harbor/Bridgehampton Turnpike was in critical condition.
Saldivar was riding in a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by a Joshua Harris, 20, of Hampton Bays. The Camaro was traveling westbound on County Road 39, as rain lightly pelted the road. According to police, Harris lost control of the vehicle, which spun out into the eastbound lane colliding with a Toyota Sedan. Michael Krafve, 29, of Amagansett was operating the Toyota.
Although the exact cause of the accident is yet to be determined, Southampton Lieutenant Bruce Molloy said the rear tires on the Camaro were worn down and in poor condition. According to Molloy, the combination of the poor tires and the wet road probably caused the vehicle’
Saldivar was taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Harris was transported by Suffolk County Police Helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital. As of Monday, Harris was in stable condition. Krafve was taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital for treatment.
Saldivar had been a student at Bridgehampton School since the fall of 2008, where he had been a member of the Killer Bees basketball team. Although the school was closed for spring break, Principal Jack Pryor decided to open the school and have an open meeting for students, teachers, and parents on Monday morning. Pryor estimated about 150 people gathered at the school from Bridgehampton as well as Hampton Bays where Saldivar had previously resided.
Pryor sent out an email about the meeting through the PTO because he was concerned students weren’
t getting reliable information about the accident, and also wanted to provide a place for them to come together and remember Saldivar.
“It was very emotional, but necessary and therapeutic,”
Pryor remembers, “He had a certain level of compassion for people, and a real charming quality. He had recently turned his life around. His grades were up and his confidence was up. Making the basketball team was really big for him.”
Killer Bees coach Carl Johnson recalls, “He was just so happy to be a part of the team. He always showed up to practice and he’d give 100%.”
Like Pryor, Johnson notes, “He was very sincere, and looking for someone to believe in him and encourage him. He had had a rough life but he was turning it around by always remembering to do the right thing.”
Johnson choked up saying, “All I keep seeing is his little face looking up at me. He’s one of the few kids who came up to me and personally thanked me for my coaching.”
Pablo Saldivar was born on February 17, 1993 in Auernavaca, Mexico, the son of Jose Luis Sandivar Cabrera and Jatzin Ruiz Aranda, who survive. He is also survived by brothers Luis Fernando Saldivar and Eric Roberto Saldivar.
Visiting will be held at Yardley & Pino Funeral Home, 94 Pantigo Rd. East Hampton, on Thursday, April 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Friday, April 17, at 2 p.m. at Iglesia Church (Bridgehampton United Methodist Church), Bridgehampton. Interment at Good Ground Cemetery in Hampton Bays will follow.