Centereach woman charged in fatal hit-run of bicyclist
A Centereach woman who police said struck and killed a bicyclist in Terryville with her car Thursday night, then fled, was arrested Friday and charged with two crimes, including leaving the scene of a fatal crash.
Janice Montalvo, 54, told police she knew she struck the bicyclist, Bradford Packer, 51, but didn't stop because she was afraid, said Suffolk Det. Sgt. James Madden of the Vehicular Crime Unit.
"She said she was scared and that she panicked," Madden said.
Montalvo, who police said was driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license, was charged with leaving the scene of an incident involving a fatality, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. She is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip.
Packer, of Port Jefferson Station, was riding his bicycle north on Route 112 about 9:15 p.m. Thursday. Montalvo, driving a gold 2007 Hyundai Sonata, was heading west on Nesconset Highway. The crash happened at the intersection, police said.
Packer was not wearing a helmet, Madden said. Police impounded the Sonata, which they said sustained "significant front-end damage."
Based on interviews with witnesses, Madden said alcohol and speed do not appear to have contributed to the crash. However, police are continuing the probe and investigators plan to retrace Montalvo's movements before the collision.
"There are no obvious contributing factors," Madden said.
A tip led police to Montalvo's car and arrest. Police did not specify the nature of the tip.
She was taken into custody Friday morning around 10, in front of her rental home, which police said she shared with her husband.
Montalvo has twice pleaded guilty to aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, a misdemeanor. Each time she was ordered to pay a $250 fine.
Packer was taken to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, where he was pronounced dead. A nephew said the family did not wish to comment.