On Thursday, at 8:50 p.m., the Shelter Island Police arrested John C. Gilligan, 41, of Shelter Island, after a spectacular crash through a fence at Crescent Beach and through the pavilion.
He was booked on multiple charges, including aggravated driving while intoxicated, speeding, and several other traffic violations.
A witness to the accident said, “The car came speeding down the hill. It went through the pavilion and took out a whole pillar and the picnic tables.”
Police said Mr. Gilligan had been observed speeding and failing to stop at a stop sign. Mr. Gilligan’s vehicle, police reported, left the roadway at Crescent Beach, driving through the fence and the pavilion.
Ultimately, the vehicle came to a stop in the water and was partially submerged.
The defendant was held overnight and later arraigned at Shelter Island Justice Court where he was released and ordered to return to court at a later date.
Mr. Gilligan, at the time of the incident, was an off-duty, part-time traffic control officer with the Shelter Island Police Department.
As of today, Friday, police said, Mr. Gilligan is no longer employed by the Town of Shelter Island.
Brett Surerus told the Reporter Friday that he attended a birthday party for a 10-year-old at the pavilion on Thursday. “It wrapped up minutes before the crash,” he said. “At least 50 children and adults were standing in and around that pavilion.”