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Man charged with vehicular manslaughter after fatal Nesconset crash, DA says

A Centereach man faces vehicular manslaughter and drug possession charges after the Suffolk County District Attorney's office said he fatally struck a Ronkonkoma man.

Jesse Santucci, 42, was arraigned Friday on an unsealed indictment and released on $4,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 15.

Santucci is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County, according to online court records. No one from that office could be reached Friday.

Authorities said Santucci was driving a 2018 Audi on Rosevale Avenue in Nesconset on Sept. 29 when he struck Kevin Hartnett, 26, who was walking northbound on the shoulder of the road at the time. Hartnett was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment, but died two days later, authorities said. 

Suffolk County police said officers arrested Santucci shortly after the collision and performed a blood test on him that revealed he was driving while impaired by fentanyl and morphine. Santucci also had THC oil, authorities said. 

Santucci is charged with three counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, two counts of first-degree operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

If convicted, Santucci faces two to seven years in prison.

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