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Teacher accused of DWI in death of pedestrian

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson Photo Credit: Handout

A Center Moriches woman was charged with driving while intoxicated after fatally striking a Shirley man Sunday morning with her pickup truck on William Floyd Parkway, Suffolk police said.

Michael Lynch, 49, was pronounced dead at the scene in the southbound lanes of the parkway in Shirley, just south of Sunrise Highway, Suffolk police said.

Lynch was trying to cross the parkway on foot about 2:25 a.m. when he was hit by a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Jennifer Johnson, 32, who police said drove away from the scene. Lynch was walking well outside of designated crosswalks, police said.

"We think he was heading home," said Sgt. James McGuinness of the Seventh Squad.

About 20 to 30 minutes later, Johnson returned to the crash scene to surrender to police, McGuinness said.

During a field sobriety test, an officer concluded that Johnson's "language, speech and actions" indicated she was drunk, McGuinness said. Johnson consented to a blood test and results are pending.

Johnson was charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. She was being held last night in a Seventh Squad cell and was scheduled to arraigned this morning in District Court in Central Islip.

Johnson's mother, Grace, said her daughter, a schoolteacher, told her she had one beer at a karaoke bar about four hours before the accident.

Johnson was driving home a man who had too much to drink at the bar, her mother said.

"She was doing a good deed," Grace Johnson said. "We're waiting for the test results."

Police said more serious charges may be brought later and asked anyone with information to call 631-852-8752.

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