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From The Desk Of Senator Charles Fuschillo

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. is sponsoring legislation to raise penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which causes injury or death. Under current law, drivers who leave the scene of accident and are caught later on often face lesser penalties than they would if they were caught at the scene, especially if they were driving under the influence. 

As an example, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident that involved serious physical injury faces a class “E” felony charge, which carries a penalty of up to four years in jail. However, had the driver stayed at the scene of the accident, they could face a class “D” felony, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in jail.  This disparity encourages drivers to flee from the accident scene rather than stay and get help for their victim. 

“There should be no legal benefit for seriously injuring or killing someone, fleeing the scene, and leaving that victim helpless in the road. Unfortunately, that happens under current law right now. We need to remove the legal incentives, which reward people for leaving the scene of an accident. That is exactly what this legislation would do,” said Senator Fuschillo, chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee. 

The legislation (S2503), which Senator Fuschillo is sponsoring with Senator Martin Golden, would raise the penalties for hit and run crimes so that they are commensurate with charges faced by a drunk driver who causes physical injury or death and remains at the scene of the accident. This would help ensure that drivers do not receive a legal benefit for leaving the scene of an accident. Under the legislation: 

—Drivers who leave the scene of a fatal accident would face class “C” felony charges, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 

—Drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which involved serious injury, would face class “D” felony charges, punishable by up to seven years in prison. 

—Drivers who leave the scene of an accident, which involved property damage, would face class “E” felony charges punishable by up to four years in prison. 

There have been several recent cases of hit and run drivers receiving light sentences for their crimes, most notably the tragic hit and run death of Erika Hughes, a 24-year-old Mastic resident and mother of a 15-month-old girl. Hughes was struck and killed in July 29, 2011 while walking along a Mastic Beach road. The driver of the car fled the scene and was not arrested until the following April. The driver ultimately pled guilty and received a sentence of only 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.

The New York State Senate passed the legislation in 2011 and 2012, but the Assembly did not act on the measure.

News

Last year, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Moby Drugs in Farmingdale to highlight the launch of a drug take-back program, which was designed to help residents remove addictive prescriptions out of their medicine cabinets. 

 

Yet, despite studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control—which found 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from home, family or friends—federal regulations have prevented pharmacies in New York State from hosting the take-back program. 

Lt. Matt Komorowski of Farmingdale was recently honored with the first annual American Heroes award, for showing bravery when faced with impossible odds. 

 

On Sept. 11, 2001, Komorowski was one of  six FDNY firefighters with Ladder Co. 6, called to the World Trade Center just a short while before the tower collapsed. Arriving at the scene, Komorowski and the members of his ladder company rushed inside the building. As they rushed up the stairs the men of Ladder 6 stopped to assist Josephine Harris, a then 60-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, who was stuck in the stairwell of the building. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Board of Education - September 17

A Town of the Taste - September 18

Evening with Jeffery Wands - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com