SAYVILLE, N.Y. (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — A manhunt is under way Wednesday for the driver who struck and killed a Long Island father as he left bible study.
Police say the unknown driver sped away as the victim laid helpless in the road in front of his church.
The victim’s only child, heartbroken, arrived at the church with his mother to see for himself where his loving father, Daniel Fanuele, had been mowed down and left for dead by a heartless hit-and-run driver.
“We are trying to find out what happened,” the victim’s ex-girlfriend, Doreen Faracco, told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera. “The person has got to look in the mirror and say ‘I just killed a kid’s father.'”
“I don’t really know what to say, it was unexpected, and I’m really upset about it,” Fanuele’s son, Daniel Jr., said. “I was his whole life basically. He called me everyday, we talked everyday, played baseball all the time – we did a lot of things together. It’s just hard to deal with.”
At 8:52 p.m., witnesses heard the squeal of tires.
Fanuele’s church community in Sayville, where he led group discussions, is stunned.
“You are talking to somebody one minute, at dinner, and then all of a sudden he’s gone the next,” church secretary Eileen Heintz said. “That’s devastating.”
At his Elaine Drive home, which Fanuele shared with other divorced men from the New Life Community Church, there were tears and anger.
“He must have not just hit him, he must have hit him real bad, because they found his shoes 100 feet from his body,” housemate Michael Kline said. “It wasn’t just a 30 mile an hour hit-and-run.”
So far, Suffolk Police know they are looking for a Toyota vehicle.
“Our crime laboratory was out last night, collecting evidence, trying to determine forensically at this point,” Suffolk County Police Sergeant Alan Feinstein said.
Daniel Jr. said his father was leaving the church he loved to rush one block home to watch the team he loved, the New York Yankees. Fanuele’s family is pleading for the driver to turn himself in.
The crime lab hopes to be able to release the model and color of the Toyota later Wednesday night.