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Long IslandCrime

Florida woman pleads guilty in fatal DWI crash with cyclist

A Hicksville native has admitted driving drunk and causing the death of a 22-year-old bicyclist she hit with her sport utility vehicle before fleeing the scene of the 2015 crash, records show.

Melissa McKiski, 23, of Venice, Florida, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Nassau County Court to charges including manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and drunken driving.

The early morning crash on Oct. 1, 2015 took the life of Charles Velasquez, 22, of Bellerose, Queens.

Authorities said he had been pedaling his bicycle west along the curb of Old Country Road in Carle Place when McKiski veered to the right while also going west and her Hyundai Santa Fe him.

Two other cyclists then called 911, and police arrested the motorist a short time later in Mineola, according to authorities.

They said the victim died four hours later at the hospital.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice William O’Brien gave McKiski a sentencing commitment of 2 to 6 years in prison as part of her plea and scheduled her sentencing for December, according to court officials.

McKiski was in tears as she left the courthouse.

Her attorney, John Carman, told Newsday on Wednesday his client was “a hardworking young woman with no prior record” who accepted responsibility and “will be punished for her conduct.”

The Garden City lawyer added McKiski “has expressed her heartfelt condolences” to Velasquez’s family.

The Nassau district attorney’s office said Wednesday that McKiski also was high on marijuana at the time of the crash. Her guilty plea didn’t include charges from the indictment regarding any drug impairment, according to court records.

Prosecutors also said in a statement that McKiski made “a criminal choice . . . that cost a young man his life” and she left Velasquez “to die in the street.”

“No family should have to endure the pain inflicted on them by McKiski’s actions,” the statement added.


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