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Long IslandCrime

Officials: Driver in fatal hit-and-run to be released on bail

Veronica Borracci, who is charged with leaving the

Veronica Borracci, who is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, "didn't realize that she hit a human being," her attorney said. Credit: SCPD

The teen motorist accused of fatally striking a man who was walking on a nightime Huntington street and then driving off was expected to be released on bail Friday, officials said.

Veronica Borracci, 17, of Dix Hills, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a spokeswoman for the Suffolk County District Attorney said.

The charge is a felony. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 2⅓ to 7 years, the spokeswoman said.

Borracci was behind the wheel of a Hyundai Elantra when she hit Sair Rodriguez, 32, who was walking on the shoulder of southbound Broadway near Legacy Court at about midnight on Wednesday, police said.

The Greenlawn Fire Department took Rodriguez to Huntington Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the police. No biographical information about Rodriguez has been released by the authorities.

Officials said Borracci denied the charge at her arraignment on Friday.

Bail was set at a $100,000 bond, which her parents were posting instead of paying $50,000 in cash, according to her lawyer, Christopher Cassar.

Borracci’s parents spoke to reporters at the courthouse.

“First, let me say how sorry we are to the Rodriguez family. We cannot express our condolences deeply enough, and I know my daughter feels the same,” said Borracci's mother, Pat Flanagan, according to News12.

"This is a very tragic situation for both families. The Borracci family has expressed their deep condolences to the Rodriguez family," Cassar said, referring to the family's statement to reporters.

His client, he said, had only been driving about three weeks and the road was "in a very, very dark area."

"She didn't realize that she hit a human being," he said. He added: "She did stop and she saw one person standing, who seemed to be, you know, that person didn’t appear to be injured in any way." 

Cassar said the person might have been a friend of Rodriguez. He would like to speak to the person, he said.

Detectives had said they believed Rodriguez was struck by a blue Hyundai Elantra, with possible front-end damage and a missing passenger side view mirror.

The next morning, Cassar said, his client's father "saw the report on TV and brought it to her attention. That's when she realized what had occurred." 

Borracci, he said, surrendered to police Thursday morning. Police said she was arrested at about 9:00 a.m. 

"She was unaware that Mr. Rodriguez died until court this morning. When I told her in lockup, that’s when she first found out the depth (of her situation), she was hysterical," her lawyer said.

The high school graduate, an honor student, is scheduled to start her freshman year at an upstate SUNY campus after winning a science scholarship, he said.

On Wednesday night, Cassar said, "She was actually driving home from a girlfriend's house. She had been making cookies and cupcakes."

There is no allegation that alcohol or texting was involved, he said.

"It's a situation where you had a 17-year-old that was scared ... I think of not knowing what had happened," Cassar said.

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