MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Florida woman was sentenced to two to six years in prison for an Oct. 2015 fatal hit and run crash that killed a Queens cyclist. The NCDA recommended 4-12 years in prison
Melissa McKiski, 23, of Venice, Florida pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice William O’Brien on Sept. 13, 2016, to:
• Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)• Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a D felony)• Leaving the Scene of an Incident without Reporting (a D felony) • Reckless Endangerment in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor)• Operating a Motor Vehicle Intoxicated (an unclassified misdemeanor)
“This driver was drunk and high when she hit and killed 22 year-old Charles Velazquez as he rode his bike, then she fled the scene to hide her crime without even calling to get medical help for her dying victim,” DA Singas said. “Nassau Police quickly apprehended this defendant, but the tragic consequences of her recklessness cost this innocent young man his life. This case illustrates why New York needs to pass the strong hit and run laws that we have proposed in Albany.”
DA Singas said that on Oct. 1, 2015, at approximately 12:35 a.m., the defendant was operating a gray Hyundai Santa Fe with Florida license plates while she was intoxicated by alcohol and impaired by marijuana. She drove westbound on Old Country Road, west of Glen Cove Road, when she veered out of the middle lane into the right lane and struck a bicyclist with the front passenger side of her vehicle, killing him.
The victim, 22-year old Charles Velasquez, of Bellerose, Queens, was riding with two other cyclists, and his bicycle was thrown into the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. The crash left an extensive debris field, including parts of McKiski’s car, and the defendant fled the scene. The driver was in possession of a cell phone but did not use it to call for help. The other bicyclists called 911 and McKiski was quickly apprehended at Herricks Road and Helen Road in Mineola by members of the Nassau County Police Department.
The victim was pronounced dead at Winthrop University Hospital at approximately 4:30 a.m.
Assistant District Attorney Katie Zizza of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case. McKiski is represented by John Carman, Esq.