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Friends React After Alleged Hit-and-Run Driver Is Charged

The man charged is a local resident, police said.

Days after a local man was charged in the hit-and-run that killed young mother Erika Strebel in Eastport, friends and loved ones reacted to the news.

"Friends and myself are happy that we now know who killed Erika and hurt Eddie, but we are also disgusted knowing that he was one of our own. A member of our community. For all I know I could have been pumping gas behind him at Valero the night I went to her vigil. Now there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Will they be answered, I'm not sure. I just hope the prosecution holds him accountable to the fullest extent of the law with no leniency," said Elayna Jespersen, Strebel's close friend and the creator of a Facebook page in her memory.

"Thank God; now that angel can rest in peace," wrote another friend on the page. "

"Let justice be served. RIP, Erika," wrote another.

Suffolk County police said a local man was behind the wheel of the car that struck and killed Strebel, and seriously injured her friend, three weeks ago.

Vehicular Crime Unit detectives charged Peter Torrillo, 48, of Eastport, with leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle crash, and leaving the scene of a serious injury incident, both felonies, on Monday. He was held overnight at the Fourth Precinct arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday.  

The arrest comes after a near 2- day investigation. 

Strebel, who leaves behind a young son, was killed when she and a friend, Edward Barton were standing near Strebel’s disabled 1988 Jeep in the shoulder of the eastbound lane on Montauk Highway in Eastport on Nov 2 at 9 p.m. 

Barton was injured in the incident. 

Torrillo was also headed east.

After the tragedy, friends turned to a  Facebook page to remember the young woman who touched their lives — and to express sorrow for the little boy she left behind and set up a GoFundMe page to help provide for him.

How do you feel, knowing someone has been charged in the tragic hit-and-run? Share your thoughts with Patch.

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