Victim's Family Upset Over Light Sentence

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man has been sentenced to 1-1/3 to 4 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of the manager of a Garden City pizzeria.

In August 2012, Raymond Kalenka, 46, was driving his Mercedes-Benz northbound on Broad Street in Williston Park when he hit 41-year-old Dean LaLima, who was intoxicated and lying in the roadway, prosecutors said.

LaLima, who was returning home from his job as manager at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, suffered a fractured skull, collarbone and pelvis, and crushing injuries to his head and legs, prosecutors said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dean LaLima (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

Dean LaLima (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

After the collision, Kalenka drove 500 feet to his house and removed a piece of the car that was knocked loose before returning to the scene and driving away without notifying police, prosecutors said.

Kalenka was convicted of leaving the scene of a deadly accident and tampering with physical evidence in August.

“This defendant had every opportunity to remain at the scene and contact the police, but he chose to leave a dying man in the street and hide the evidence of what he had done,” District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. “Mr. Kalenka showed no regard for the victim’s condition after the incident — only saving his own skin.”

The judge pointed to the medical facts of the case and also cited Kalenka’s prior clean record as part of his decision not to hand down the maximum sentence, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported.

“This was not a pedestrian run down, it’s a completely different case,” defense attorney Brian Davis said. “This is someone lying in the road, unfortunately, my client found his way there and did not do the right thing afterwards. It makes this case very different than most.”

John and Janis LaLima hold photo of their son Dean LaLima, after sentencing of hit-run driver in Mineola (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

John and Janis LaLima hold photo of their son Dean LaLima, after sentencing of hit-run driver in Mineola (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

John LaLima said the relentless pain over losing his son worsened Thursday morning after the judge did not give the maximum sentence.

“Very difficult to listen to that man get up and once again lie about what he did and I don’t think the judge was right,” he said. “One-and-a-third to four is not adequate.”

“People who run away and leave someone to die in the street have to pay more penalty than one-and-a-third to four years,” LaLima told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

Kalenka spoke to the family, saying he was sorry and that what he did haunts him every day, Jiang reported.

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