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SUV sought in fatal hit-and-run on Southern State found in flames, say police

A Hempstead man was killed in a hit-and-run

A Hempstead man was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Dec. 5, 2014 on the Southern State Parkway by the driver of a Chevy, found burning 10 hours later in North Amityville, State Police said. Photo Credit: Paul Mazza

A Hempstead man was killed in a hit-and-run crash Friday on the Southern State Parkway by the driver of a Chevy, found burning 10 hours later in North Amityville, State Police said.

Investigators last night were trying to find the hit-and-run driver after his 2013 Chevrolet Captiva was located in flames on 44th Street in North Amityville.

Sherman Richardson, 59, who was driving east on the parkway, was killed after his vehicle and the Captiva collided about 6:30 a.m., west of Exit 32 (Route 110) on the South Farmingdale-East Farmingdale border, police said.

Investigators had issued a public lookout for a gray or light-colored compact sport utility vehicle after at least one witness gave a partial plate number of "GHJ." Police said the SUV had substantial front-end damage and was last seen driving south on Route 110 toward Amityville. About 4 p.m., a 911 caller reported a vehicle burning in North Amityville, authorities said.

According to residents, the Captiva, a compact SUV, had been left there within an hour of the crash, said senior investigator Joseph DeMaria. It was not clear if the driver in the crash was also the vehicle's owner, but the Chevy had not been reported stolen, DeMaria said. Police did not identify the owner.

No accelerants were found, he said, and the crash damage may have caused the fire. "That car was probably sitting there on that side street all day and eventually became engulfed in flames over what was happening mechanically," he said.

Det. Sgt. Edward Fitzgerald of the Suffolk County arson squad said it appeared the fire started in the passenger compartment and could have been an electrical fire. He said detectives will examine the engine in the coming days to look for clues on what started the blaze.

State Police ask anyone with information to call 631-756-3300.

With Gary Dymski

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