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Family of hit-and-run victim searching for answers


Like any cautious parent, Shawn Lopez had reservations about his son’s decision to ride a motorcycle. Growing up, Lee Lopez had driven dirt bikes and four-wheelers before transitioning to motorcycles.

“I didn’t want him to do that on Long Island,” Mr. Lopez said.

Late Friday night, as the 21-year-old Lee Lopez was driving a 1975 Harley-Davidson on Route 25A in Calverton, he was hit by an unknown vehicle in a crash that left him with multiple injuries, miraculously none of them life-threatening. The vehicle that hit him never stopped, Riverhead Town police said, and an investigation is underway to track down the driver.

At his current home in Maine shortly after the accident, Shawn Lopez said he received a call from his ex-wife detailing what had just happened. Although he was four days away from scheduled surgery, he hopped in his car and headed straight to Long Island where his son was being treated at Stony Brook University Hospital, he said in an interview Monday.

The crash occurred at 11:31 p.m. Friday night. Police have released only limited details about the crash and a News-Review request for a copy of the accident report was denied.

Shawn Lopez said he and his family are still trying to sort out exactly what happened.

“My son got hit viciously as a hit-and-run,” he said.

On Facebook, Mr. Lopez posted graphic photos of his son after the crash, detailing some of the facial injuries Lee Lopez had sustained. He listed his son’s injuries as a “couple of fractures and facial cuts and lots of sore muscles and maybe a tear in his left shoulder.”

“My son is doing good,” Mr. Lopez said . “He’s not going to be back to normal for maybe two to three months.”

Lee Lopez is a Rocky Point High School graduate, his father said, and he worked at Neptune Farms in Calverton. On Monday, Shawn Lopez had to leave his son at Stony Brook to travel back to Maine for his scheduled surgery on a distal urethral tumor, he said.

He said his cancer is not aggressive and his focus is now on his son. He posted on Facebook late Tuesday that he is now “cancer free.”

Shawn Lopez said he appreciates all the support his family has received this past week.

“It’s a very difficult time right now,” he said. “I’ve never had to deal with something like this before.”

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