Lawyer: Alberto Dibernardo 'panicked' and left hit-run scene

Alberto Dibernardo, 28, of Randi Court, was returning Alberto Dibernardo, 28, of Randi Court, was returning from a bagel shop and reached into the back seat of his 2010 Jeep Wrangler for a soft drink Sunday when he struck and killed a bicyclist from Amityville, attorney Thomas Spreer said. (Sept. 2, 2013) Photo Credit: SCPD

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The Melville man charged in a hit-and-run accident that killed a bicyclist in Dix Hills panicked and left the scene, his attorney said Wednesday.

Alberto Dibernardo, 28, of Randi Court, was returning from a bagel shop and reached into the back seat of his 2010 Jeep Wrangler for a soft drink Sunday when he struck and killed a bicyclist from Amityville, attorney Thomas Spreer said.

"He pulled a Yoo-Hoo out of the bag and -- bang -- it happens," Spreer said. "He feels terrible; it's a terrible set of circumstances."

Ricardo Fernandez, 44, of Amityville, was riding on Expressway Drive North, about a quarter-mile east of Burrs Lane, Sunday morning when Dibernardo hit him, police said.

Fernandez was pronounced dead at the scene after a passing motorist dialed 911 just after 10 a.m., police said.

"He panicked," Spreer said of his client. "He had just dropped a half-dozen bagels off at his aunt's house and he was going back to his house and he basically panicked."

Spreer said Dibernardo turned himself into Suffolk County police about 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

Dibernardo, a fabricator of stone and marble products, was arraigned Tuesday on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an incident involving a fatality without reporting and released on $25,000 cash bail, Spreer said. He is due back in First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday.

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