Police are investigating whether a Lake Grove woman, who they said was high on drugs when she struck and killed a bicyclist in Miller Place, tried to flee the scene and was stopped only because she crashed into another vehicle a tenth of a mile away.
At her arraignment in district court in Central Islip Monday, Nicole Shellard, 32, of 162 Symphony Dr., pleaded not guilty to the charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs in the death of bicyclist Kathryn Underdown, 45, also of Lake Grove. Shellard was held on bail of $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond. She is due back in court Friday.
"She regrets what transpired and hopes the criminal justice system and the public will allow the system to play itself out," said Shellard's lawyer, Glenn Riegler of Melville.
Underdown had spent a pleasant day gardening before setting out on her bike for a ride, said her husband, Michael Slovitsky, 44.
She was a hairdresser at a Smithtown salon and "loved her job," Slovitsky said. "Everybody knew Kathryn. She was everybody's friend."
The crash happened at about 6 p.m. Sunday on eastbound Route 25A near Hunter Avenue, Suffolk police said.
Shellard did not stop at the scene of the crash, but continued eastbound in her 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe - stopping only after she crashed into a Ford, police said.
According to the criminal complaint against her, Shellard's eyes were "dilated" and "unfocused" and she had trouble keeping them open during an interview with investigators.
The complaint said police also found that her responses were "delayed" and that her "speech was slow and slurred."
According to the complaint, Shellard told police she was on three prescription medications - a muscle relaxant, a medicine used primarily for the treatment of opioid dependence and a sedative.
Police said Underdown was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Shellard was arrested at the scene of the second crash, police said.
She submitted to a blood test Sunday at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson, police said.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.