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Long IslandCrime

Amityville man charged in fatal hit-and-run in Hempstead

A male pedestrian was fatally struck by a

A male pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle near the corner of Washington Street and Burr Avenue in Hempstead early Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. Credit: Jim Staubitser

An unlicensed driver who fatally struck a male pedestrian and fled the scene of the accident in Hempstead Village has been arraigned.

Jose Nelson Cruz, 29, of Amityville, was arraigned Friday at in First District Court in Hempstead on charges of being an unlicensed driver and leaving the scene of an accident with death, court records show.

His bail of $100,000 was not posted, documents show. It wasn’t immediately known if he pleaded guilty or not guilty. Cruz is due back in court Wednesday.

The victim was identified as Miguel A. Vasquez Guillen, 60, of Hempstead.

The fatal accident occurred Thursday at 7:05 a.m., police said. Guillen was running from west to east across Washington Street at Burr Avenue when, while in the southbound lanes, he was first struck by a town-issued Jeep driven by longtime Town of Hempstead spokesman Michael Deery, police said. Deery, who stayed at the scene and cooperated with police, was not charged.

Moments later, Guillen was fatally struck by Cruz, who was driving south in a 1991 Dodge van, police said. Guillen fled the scene.

Phone calls to attorney Xavier A. Palacios, who is representing Cruz, were not returned.


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