AMAGANSETT, NY. -- Police have confirmed Richard Threlkeld, a 74-year-old television news correspondent who worked for CBS News for 25 years, was killed Friday when the Mini Cooper he was driving collided with a propane truck in Amagansett on Long Island.
Chief Ed Ecker, who was on scene while detectives started investigating the two-vehicle crash, which happened at 8:18 a.m., said the accident occurred in the intersection, at the traffic light, where Montauk Highway meets Abraham's Path and Cross Highway, near .
According to a statement released by Detective Lt. Chris Anderson, Threlkeld was traveling north on Cross Highway when his 2008 Mini Cooper collided with a 2005 Peterbilt propane tanker driven by Earl Fryberger Jr., who was going east on Montauk Highway.
Fryberger, who is 57 and lives in Coatesville, PA, was not injured in the collision.
The Mini Cooper's driver's side was severely damaged. The car ended up by the sign, taking down part of a split rail fence and a traffic sign. Second Assistant Chief Dwayne Denton said heavy rescue equipment was used to remove the car door and push the dashboard up to remove the driver.
"It was a matter of minutes before we got him out," Denton said. transported the driver to , where he was pronounced dead.
The propane truck came to a rest on the south side of Montauk Highway, east of Brent's. The truck did not sustain major damage.
Safety checks will be conducted on both vehicles.
According to his biography, Threlkeld covered such some of the biggest stories in American history from Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination to Patty Hearst’s kidnapping, as well as covering the Vietnam War and the Tiananmen Square protests.
He served as co-anchor of the CBS Morning News with Lesley Stahl in the late 1970s. After leaving CBS in 1981, he worked for ABC News’s “World News Tonight” show, filing a piece called “Status Reports” each week, for which he won a DuPont-Columbia Award in 1983. He finished his career at CBS, retiring as the Moscow correspondent in 1999.
He is also the author of “Dispatches From the Former Evil Empire” about the former Soviet Empire during the end of Boris Yeltsin's regime.
He is survived by his wife Betsy Aaron, a former CNN News correspondent.
Glass covered portions of Montauk Highway and police shut down the highway in both directions between Brent's and the American Legion on Friday morning to do accident reconstruction. Eastbound traffic was being diverted down Skimhampton Road. Westbound traffic was being diverted down Oak Lane. Cross Highway was also closed off.