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Taxi driver who killed pedestrian in Huntington Station used different license to get taxi permit, officials say

A taxi driver operating with a suspended license

A taxi driver operating with a suspended license struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday night, Dec. 21, 2014, on Depot Road in Huntington Station, Suffolk County police said. Credit: Stringer News Service

A taxi driver accused of driving with a suspended license when he struck and killed a pedestrian Sunday night in Huntington Station used a different driver's license to secure a permit to drive a taxi in Huntington, town officials said Tuesday.

Christian Lopez-Barcelo, 31, used a second license with a slightly different name and a clean record to apply for and receive his taxi permit, town officials said.

The town clerk has suspended the driver's permit pending the police investigation, said A.J. Carter, spokesman for town Supervisor Frank P. Petrone.

Suffolk County police said Raymond Sipel, 30, of Huntington, was running east across Depot Road at 10:45 p.m. Sunday when he was struck by a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria taxi being driven south on Depot. Sipel died at the scene.

Police said Lopez-Barcelo, of 8th Avenue in Huntington Station, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

Lopez-Barcelo, who was driving for the Orange and White Taxi Company, was released on an appearance ticket. A woman who answered the phone at the company declined to comment.

Police said Lopez-Barcelo was taken to Huntington Hospital, where he was treated for "stress-related symptoms" and released. The taxicab was impounded for a safety check.

The investigation is continuing and police are asking anyone with information regarding the crash to call the Second Squad at 631-854-8252.

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