Cops seek help finding Setauket hit-run driver

Suffolk County police vehicular crime unit detectives investigate Suffolk County police vehicular crime unit detectives investigate a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian in Setauket. (Aug. 23, 2013) Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A pedestrian was killed early Friday in Setauket by a hit-and-run driver who is being sought by police, authorities said.

The body of Joseph Santiago, 47, of Setauket, was discovered by an electrical utility driver about 1:20 a.m. in the westbound lanes of Ridgeway Avenue, said Det. Sgt. Jim Madden of the Suffolk police vehicular crime unit.

"The driver may not have known they struck the victim, and we're asking that they please come forward to help us with the process," Madden said.

It took hours to identify the victim because he was not carrying any identification, police said.

Santiago was wearing blue jeans and a white T-shirt, and wore light-blue earbud-type headphones.

Madden said investigators believe the victim had been struck not long before he was discovered, because the road is a fairly well-traveled cut-through. He would not say if police had witnesses or recovered physical evidence at the crash scene.

Madden said of the victim's discovery by the utility worker: "He's driving westbound on Ridgeway, sees a body in the roadway, calls his dispatcher, then stands by while 911 is called."

Police are asking anyone with information about the accident to call the Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential, police said.

"We're just hoping someone will come forward to let us know what happened," Madden said, adding: "Maybe it was just a simple mistake."

The best of Newsday everyday in your inbox. Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

You also may be interested in: