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

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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.

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

You also may be interested in: