Cops: Driver hits 3 in Flanders, leaves scene

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A Riverhead woman has been released on bail after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident in which she hit three people with her vehicle early Wednesday outside a Flanders home, police said.

Southampton Town police said Amanda Dacosta, 23, was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury. She pleaded not guilty at arraignment Wednesday at Southampton Town Justice Court and was released after posting a $5,000 cash bail.

Det. Sgt. Lisa Costa said Dacosta was at a party at a home on Riverside Avenue and got into an argument; when she left, at about 12:08 a.m., she drove over a fence, hit the three people and continued into the front of the home.

Dacosta's attorney, Colin Astarita in Southampton, said his client was trying to get away from a "fairly big guy" who attempted to to punch her during an argument at the house.

She got into her car, but it was blocked in by other cars in the driveway, Astarita said.

She got scared when she noticed the man had followed her out, the attorney said.

"This guy followed her out of the house and all she was trying to do was leave," Astarita said. "She was in fear of this person."

It was dark, and in trying to maneuver her car forward and backwards to get away, Dacosta did not know she had hit people, her attorney said.

He said only two people were injured, disputing the police account of three. She hit the man who had threatened her, Astartia said, and the homeowner told authorities that Dacosta drove over her foot.

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Costa said a man was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital. He has been discharged, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday night.

Costa said another victim, a woman, 25, was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where she was treated for a leg injury and released.

Police said the third victim, a woman, 26, refused medical attention at the scene.

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