A Medford woman was charged with leaving the scene of a car crash Friday night that left one man dead and another person seriously injured after she allegedly struck a group standing on the side of the road.
Kathy Horan, 61, was arraigned Saturday in First District Court in Central Islip on two felony charges of leaving the scene of a motor-vehicle accident resulting in a death and a serious injury.
Suffolk County police said Horan was driving east on Granny Road near Fairmont Avenue in Medford at 8:21 p.m. Friday when her 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe struck the group that had pulled over to the side of the road after a minor motor-vehicle accident.
Peter Quoma, 28, of Selden, who had exited his 1997 Nissan Maxima after hitting a parked car, was struck and killed by Horan’s vehicle, police said. He was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue where he was pronounced dead.
A 58-year-old woman from Lake Grove who had been standing by her parked vehicle, which was initially hit by Quoma’s Nissan, also was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, where she was being treated for serious injuries late Friday, police said.
In court Saturday, Assistant District Attorney Dana Castaldo said Quoma was standing near his vehicle after he had gotten into an accident, and was hit by Horan.
Quoma “was knocked to the ground . . . after he was struck by the defendant,” Castaldo said at the arraignment. “He suffered fatal head trauma when he hit the ground and the curb.”
A second victim was pinned between Horan’s car and Quoma’s car and suffered a broken pelvis and other bone injuries, Castaldo said. It was not immediately clear whether the second victim that Castaldo mentioned in court was the 58-year-old woman police said was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
Quoma’s dog, pinned under a car at the crash scene, suffered a spinal injury and was taken to a local shelter, Castaldo said.
Horan and her husband got out of their car after the accident, saw that there were injuries and “fled the scene — got back into their car and drove away,” Castaldo said.
Horan — who was wearing a black puffy winter coat with a fur hood, sweatpants and sneakers — remained silent during the four-minute proceeding.
Horan’s public defender said in court that she has lived in Suffolk County for 36 years, and has owned a condo for the last four years that is about 1 mile away from the accident site.
“She, in fact, called the police, cooperated with the police, took a Breathalyzer test . . . there was no intoxication involved,” the attorney said. “I obviously haven’t been able to investigate any of the facts, but I think it’s fair to say within hours she contacted the police and has cooperated fully.”
The defense attorney said he “can’t explain” why people act a certain way “in certain tragic events.” He said the family could afford $10,000 cash bail and asked for such.
Judge Richard Dunne said the fact that Horan left the scene of the accident “raises questions” of the circumstances of the crime. He honored Castaldo’s request for bail, and set it at $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond.
Horan’s husband, who was in court, declined to speak with reporters after the arraignment.
Jail officials said Saturday evening Horan’s bail had been posted.
Reached by phone, Quoma’s family on Saturday said they were too overcome with emotion to comment.
Quoma’s fiancee, Samantha Lord, 27, of Selden, said in a written statement Saturday night: “He was a great, caring son, brother, uncle, nephew and fiance. He is loved by many.” Lord, 27, of Selden, and Quoma had been engaged since October, she said.
His best friend was his dog, Blaze, an 8-year-old boxer, Lord said.
With Candice Ruud