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Cops: Driver Who Hit Bicyclist, Fled Scene Charged With DWI

Bicyclist was found on the roadway and taken to the hospital for treatment.

A Deer Park man was charged with driving while intoxicated after hitting a bicyclist near McDonald's on Route 58 in Riverhead and fleeing the scene on Monday evening, police said.

Riverhead Town police responded to the report of a motor vehicle accident on Monday at 6:49 p.m. and found the bicyclist in the roadway on Route 58, just west of McDonald's. Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance responded to the scene and transported Leslie Harrist, 40, of Ridge to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Police say the driver of the vehicle that struck the bicyclist fled the scene. Officers searched for the vehicle and gathered a description from witnesses; a description was sent to area police agencies.

Shortly after the accident, a New York State Police officer spotted a vehicle fitting the description heading westbound on the Long Island Expressway. After an investigation, it was determined that the vehicle was the same as the one involved in the accident.

Police arrested Robert Michael, 47, of Deer Park and charged him with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. He was held for morning arraignment.

Jerry King October 23, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Of course DWI can not be condoned; however, how many bicycles have you seen being ridden late in the evening in pitch dark conditions without any lights at all lately? Not saying that this is the case here, but these cyclists are nearly invisible until you are practically on top of them. If kids insist that they need to use their bikes late in the evening, buy them a light/generator set for their bicycles for Christmas and insist that they use it. Very inexpensive clip-on red blinking lights are also available that greatly improve a driver’s ability to see and recognize a cyclist. I don’t know about you, but it would absolutely destroy me if I were to injure one of these young people. Parents, where the heck are you?
cm October 23, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I rarely see kids on bikes anymore. Also the case here. There is a reason they don't want lights on their bikes.
Vince Taldone October 23, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Perhaps we should all remember that Riverhead protested the county's plan to remove the shoulder on CR58 and the county's plan to leave all the power lines scattered in the middle of the sidewalk. That terrible road expansion plan is what we now live with. It was done on the cheap in order to fit more and more cars without spending any money on safety. There used to be a space between the drivers and the pedestrians or cyclists. Steve Levy made the decision to serve the needs of the wealthy property owners by getting them more cars into their shopping centers but at a very high cost to public safety. So now there is no room for error and with the power lines left scattered in the sidewalk and not an inch of shoulder space. There is simply no safe way to travel on CR58 if you don't have a car. A pedestrian or cyclist takes great risk when using CR58 and few who don't live here actually anticipate such a dangerous stretch of road - until they are on it and don't know of an alternative. And yes, our kids get fatter and fatter as our government continues to make every place in town accessible only by automobile. So why be surprised that we don't see kids on bikes any more? Sadly, only the economically disadvantaged and the disables are stuck risking their lives to get around town.

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