A New York City schoolteacher from Center Moriches was charged with fatally striking a man while driving drunk after she allegedly went to a pub before returning to the scene to surrender to authorities, prosecutors said.
Jennifer Johnson, accused of driving away from a fallen pedestrian Sunday on William Floyd Parkway in Shirley after hitting him with a pickup truck, told police she went to the pub to notify the truck's owner she'd been in an accident, according to the Suffolk district attorney's office.
Johnson, 32, an elementary schoolteacher at PS 28 in Brooklyn pleaded not guilty on Monday to felony charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an incident at her arraignment in Suffolk District Court in Central Islip, prosecutors said.
After being ordered held at the Suffolk jail on $35,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond, Johnson posted bail on Monday, officials said.
Calls to defense attorney Edward Hennessey of Shirley on Monday were not immediately returned. Johnson is due in District Court on Friday, Oct. 23.
Suffolk DA spokesman Robert Clifford said Johnson failed a field sobriety test or tests after the 2:25 a.m. crash.
According to Clifford, Johnson told officers that she immediately pulled over, got out and noticed several people standing by a body and a man on the phone with police. She said she then drove to Pennylane Pub Star in Shirley to tell the truck's owner what happened and returned to face cops, Clifford said.
Suffolk police have said Johnson was back within 20 to 30 minutes. Police have also said the mortally wounded pedestrian, Michael Lynch, 49, of Shirley, was walking well outside designated crosswalks.