CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A pedestrian is dead and police said the Long Island driver accused of hitting him should never have been behind the wheel.
Police said Richard Turner has had his driving privileges suspended thirty times, and now he’s in even more trouble with the law.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Julia Fareda has been overcome with grief since hearing the devastating news. Her 38-year-old son Fausto Rodriguez — a Dominican immigrant who recently moved to long Island was killed crossing busy Sunrise Highway in Copiague. He had just stepped out to buy his mother vital heart medication.
“Good boy, good son, good friend,” Onofre Corona said.
His heartbroken family can’t understand why the driver that struck him was behind the wheel. Turner, 36, of Massapequa had his driver’s license 30 times.
“Anybody with 30 suspensions shouldn’t be driving at all,” Pedro Espinal said.
Turner’s mother and girlfriend declined to comment after prosecutors told the judge the suspensions stem from 27 unpaid traffic tickets on ten separate dates.
Suspensions multiply when drivers fail to pay or show up in court.
“Sometimes moneys an issue, you can’t pay your tickets,” attorney Douglass Byrne said.
Byrne said the aquarium maintenance man may not have realized his license was suspended.
“He did not leave the scene of the accident, he stayed present, he called 911, this is a tragedy,” he said.
Police said it’s implausible that drivers are unaware a license is suspended time after time. They often get away with it because there is no automatic arrest when a scofflaw is stopped.
“If you’re encountered by the Suffolk Police Department we will take appropriate action. If you have a few suspensions you could be arrested. Your vehicle may be impounded,” Chief Stuart Cameron explained.
Turner now has a lot to lose if he dodges anymore court dates. the judge set bond at $200,000 calling it very disturbing that Turner was till driving on our roads.
According to prosecutors, Turner told police the victim was walking on Sunrise Highway, and he didn’t see him — he was not in the crosswalk.