Police said the victim, 24-year-old Erika Hughes, was walking on Mastic Road in Mastic Beach when she was struck. The impact threw her body against a curb. The driver fled the scene without so much as slowing down.
The graduate of William Floyd High School, who worked as a sales agent, was walking down Mastic Road — not far from where she had attended school. Police said a heavy, dark colored truck slammed into the young mother at the edge of a park, near Riverside Avenue, and sped away turning east.
Hughes leaves behind a barely 15-month-old daughter Gabriella, who is too young to understand that her mother has been killed. The victim’s father, Dennis Hughes, was left searching for answers after the death of his daughter.
“I just lost my daughter. She has a 15-month-old daughter. What can I possibly say? What can I say?” he asked CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Hughes’ mother, Lori, says she is also in shock. The entire Hughes family is now overcome at the sudden and indescribable loss and pain.
Hughes’ tearful aunt said that her niece was filled with love and compassion. She said she hopes the suspect would turn himself him and “take what’s coming to him.”
“He should have stopped. He should have stopped. Why didn’t he stop to help her? She’s only a little girl,” the aunt said.
Suffolk Police are fanning out looking for witnesses and gathering clues. Police are also urging body shop owners to be on the lookout for a truck or suv with new front end damage.
“The possible vehicle we’re looking for is a truck, possibly a tow truck or utility type truck. Anybody that might have any information that might help us, we’re asking them to come forward and give us a call,” Suffolk Detective Sergeant James McGuinness said.
If you have any information, call police at 631-852-8752 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.