Two injured in hit-run on Wantagh parkway, say cops


Jessica Sill and Matthew Donde, who were struck in a hit-and-run on the Wantagh State Parkway Tuesday morning, July 8, 2014, lie in their hospital beds at Nassau University Medical Center on Tuesday in East Meadow. Photo Credit: Family photo

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State Police are searching for the driver of a vehicle who they said sped off early Tuesday after striking and injuring two teenagers as they stood outside their car on Wantagh State Parkway near Jones Beach.

Matthew Donde, 18, of Wantagh, and Jessica Sill, 15, of Levittown, were taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where they were treated for their injuries, State Police said. Jessica suffered a broken collarbone and severe lacerations, among other injuries, and Donde suffered a fractured pelvis and required more than 10 staples for a head injury, their parents said.

The teenagers were outside the car on the southbound Wantagh State Parkway, south of Merrick Road, when they were hit, State Police said.

Investigators were still trying to get a description of the vehicle that sped away, police said.

Jessica's father, James Sill, said the pair left her house at 11:30 p.m. Monday to go for a drive before they pulled over. It was unclear why they had stopped on the parkway and gotten out of the car.

Jessica told her father she "woke up" and tried to find Donde, who had landed about 20 feet away. She then tried to flag down a passing car and eventually a passerby called the authorities, James Sill said.

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Neither victim knew how long they were unconscious or when they were hit, he said, but he was notified about the accident by authorities at about 3 a.m.

At the hospital, James Sill and Tina Donde, Matthew's mother, stood in the hallway trying to comprehend why someone would hit two people and flee.

"I can understand a garbage can," Tina Donde said. "But another living human being?" James Sill said that at the very least, whoever hit them could have anonymously called in the accident.

"You hit them? OK," James Sill said, "It's an accident. But stop and see if they're OK. Don't just leave them for dead."

Anyone with information can call State Police troop headquarters in Farmingdale at 631-756-3300.

With Gary Dymski

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