Jeep Plows Into East Hampton Village House

Michael Heller
A Jeep drove through the hedges on the edge of the property and then into the house.
Independent/Michael Heller

A drunken driver behind the wheel of a Jeep crashed into a house in East Hampton Village Sunday afternoon, Police Chief Mike Tracey said.

Police said Favian Ventegeat, 28, of New York City, was speeding in a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee northbound on Buell Lane when he crossed over lane lines into oncoming traffic, and through the first part of the Five Corners intersection with Toilsome Lane. He struck a light post before crashing into hedges, a fence, several trees, and a portion of a house on Toilsome Lane at about 2:15 PM.

Tracey said no one was injured. No one was home or on the property at the time.

Eye witnesses said they saw Ventegeat in the driver’s seat with a 1.75-liter bottle of Johnnie Walker Black. When he climbed out of the passenger side, with his passenger, he emptied out the liquor bottle, according to a police report. When an officer arrived, he was standing at the intersection, appeared intoxicated, and failed all field sobriety tests, but refused to take a breath test, the report said.

Police also allegedly found 10 Endocet oxycodone pills inside a small baggie, leading to a drug possession charge.

Ventegeat was arrested on a slew of charges, including driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, both misdemeanors, as well as aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, as his driving privileges were suspended in New York on multiple occasions. He has no license, police said. Police also hit him with a litter charge.

The Jeep, which was impounded and had temporary New Jersey tags, seemed to be registered to a man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, though police are still tracking down the owner.

Ventegeat was held overnight for arraignment on Monday morning, when he was released on his own recognizance.

The East Hampton Fire Department was asked to assist village police with securing the Jeep, which had come to rest against electric and gas utilities for the residence, Chief Gerard Turza Jr. said. Firefighters responded with a heavy rescue truck and an engine. Fire police personnel directed traffic around the busy roundabout at the Five Corners as firefighters removed numerous tree branches from the vehicle.

They assessed both the SUV and the structure to ensure that it was safe to move it. The Jeep was towed off the property by 4:30 PM.

This article was updated on June 1, 2020.

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