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Sound Beach man gets 18 months in box truck death

Serena Mangino, the daughter of Tracy Mangino, and

Serena Mangino, the daughter of Tracy Mangino, and Tracy's father, Michael Mangino, are interviewed outside Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Before he sentenced a Sound Beach man to 18 months in jail for hitting and killing a pedestrian with a box truck, a judge in Central Islip on Friday told the home-improvement contractor he was a “horrible” human because he fled and left the woman on the side of the road to die.

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho told Christopher Campbell, 38, that he should have stopped and helped Tracy Mangino, 40, who was walking along North Country Road after a night of drinking when she was struck on Oct. 18, 2014.

“I believe we have a moral obligation to look out for each other,” the judge said.

Campbell, who admitted in court he had reason to know his box truck had struck Mangino, pleaded guilty on Oct. 6, 2017 in First District Court to leaving the scene of a fatal accident and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The plea agreement was reached by Suffolk prosecutors and Campbell’s defense attorneys after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on a vehicular manslaughter and other charges.

The jury, which deliberated for 14 hours over three days, later said the final vote was 11-1 for conviction, but the holdout was unmovable.

If he’d been convicted of all charges at his trial, Campbell faced a maximum of 8 1/3 to 23 years in prison.

As agreed under the plea deal, Camacho sentenced Campbell to one year in jail for leaving the scene of a fatal accident and six months for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The sentence was not what Mangino’s father and her daughter wanted. But the pair said they agreed to it because they didn’t want to go through a second trial.

“We can’t keep letting this affect our lives, especially hers,” said Mangino’s father Michael Mangino of Ronkonkoma, looking at his granddaughter. “We need to get on with it. We need to get it behind us.”

Serena Mangino, who was 14 when her mother was killed, spoke in court on Friday and shared a glimpse of the loss she suffered.

When the Miller Place resident landed her first job, her mother was not around to celebrate with her. When the teen had her heart broken for the first time, she didn’t have her mother’s shoulders to cry on.

“I’ll never forget the day you took my world and turned it upside down,” said Serena Mangino, who cried.

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