01/20/15 4:00pm
01/20/2015 4:00 PM
Melanie Stafford speaks at a press conference in Hauppauge Tuesday with Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota (far right), state Senator John Flanagan (second from right) and family members of hit-and-run victims. Ms. Stafford's uncle was killed in 2012 while crossing the street in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Melanie Stafford speaks at a press conference in Hauppauge Tuesday with Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota (far right), state Senator John Flanagan (second from right) and family members of hit-and-run victims. Ms. Stafford’s uncle was killed in 2012 while crossing the street in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and the families of hit-and-run victims are calling on state lawmakers to increase penalties for those convicted of fleeing the scene of a fatal accident.

Mr. Spota and members of several families, including a relative of Scott Wayte — the Brookhaven man who was struck and killed in 2012 while crossing East Main Street in downtown Riverhead — held a press conference in Hauppauge Tuesday, saying they want the state to increase the maxiumn sentence for fatal hit-and-run crimes from seven years to 15 years in prison.  (more…)

01/16/15 7:00am
01/16/2015 7:00 AM
Jennifer Callaghan lets go of a red balloon in memory of her husband James. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Jennifer Callaghan lets go of a red balloon in memory of her husband James. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Among the hugs and tears shed beside an all too familiar stretch of Main Road Friday morning, laughs and lanterns filled the air long before the sun came up in remembrance of James Callaghan, a Jamesport man who was killed in a hit-and-run while jogging on a foggy Jan. 16 morning just one year ago.

More than 20 people joined at the sign bordering Riverhead and Southold towns at 5:45 a.m., about the same time police believe Mr. Callaghan may have been struck by a “blue metallic” vehicle that fled the scene.

(more…)

07/24/14 11:40am
07/24/2014 11:40 AM
Celentano in hit and run

Jacqueline Celentano of Calverton is led out of Southampton Police Department headquarters in Hampton Bays for an arraignment following her arrest last year. (Credit: Carrie Miller file)

More than a year after he was hit by a car and left badly injured on the side of the road in Flanders, 25-year-old Aaron Hartmann still has memory problems, his mother, Linda, said. He stumbles over his words sometimes and has lost the peripheral vision in both his eyes.

When Mr. Hartmann gets tired, he limps on the leg that was broken in the crash, she said, making it difficult for him to get a job to support his young child.

“My son’s life is destroyed,” Ms. Hartmann said. (more…)

06/19/14 5:25pm
06/19/2014 5:25 PM
Friends set up a memorial on Route 58 for hit-and-run victim Kristina Tfelt a few days after her death. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Friends and family members had set up a memorial on Route 58 in Riverhead for hit-and-run victim Kristina Tfelt a few days after her death last July. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

A bill that would increase penalties for those who flee the scenes of serious or fatal accidents passed through the New York State Assembly with bipartisan support Thursday with hours to spare, according to North Fork Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, who co-sponsored the bill. (more…)

06/19/14 2:00pm
Jacqueline Celentano, 21, of Calverton is led out of Southampton Police Department headquarters in Hampton Bays Wednesday morning for a Justice Court appearance. (Credit: Carrie Miller file)

Jacqueline Celentano, 21, of Calverton is led out of Southampton Police Department headquarters in Hampton Bays Wednesday morning for a Justice Court appearance. (Credit: Carrie Miller file)

A Calverton woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of failing to report an accident following a hit-and-run crash that badly injured a Riverhead man last May, according to online court records.  (more…)

06/12/14 3:38pm
06/12/2014 3:38 PM
Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in  July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

Police at the scene of the fatal hit and run on Route 58 near Woodcrest Avenue in July 2013. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)

With just five days left in the New York State Assembly session, North Fork and East End lawmakers are making a last-minute push to drum up support for bills that would increase penalties for hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene of serious accidents.

Those bills — including one co-sponsored by the North Fork’s assemblyman, Anthony Palumbo — are currently stalled in committee, where they have sat since January. The legislators say they have until Tuesday to get a bill out of the committee and onto the floor for a full Assembly vote. (more…)

05/29/14 7:20am
05/29/2014 7:20 AM
COURTESY PHOTO | Kristina Tfelt with her 1-year-old son, Joseph, in a photo dated August 2012.

COURTESY PHOTO | Kristina Tfelt with her 1-year-old son, Joseph, in a photo dated August 2012.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers have are offering a reward to the public after police said on Thursday morning that the driver in a fatal hit-and-run on Route 58 last year still remains at large.  (more…)