Police Say 9-Year-Old Saw Whole Thing From Back Seat

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBS New York) — A Long Island father was arrested and charged in a deadly hit and run, following a Super Bowl party.

And that’s not all.

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Police said Victor Ventuzelo was driving drunk with a child in his car, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Police said his 9-year-old son saw it all from the back seat a 2000 Ford 350 — Ventuzelo, 32, allegedly running over two pedestrians — killing one — and fleeing the scene after a night of drinking.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera with Suffolk County cops who say the suspect was driving drunk after coming home from a Super Bowl party at a country club

“Mr. Ventuzelo was attending a Super Bowl party at the Holbrook Country Club,” Suffolk County Police Detective Sgt. William Rand said.

Police said that following the hit and run a drunk Ventuzelo drove to his Islip Terrace home, where family members and friends convinced him to return to the scene and surrender.

At the Holbrook Country Club, which is operated by the Town of Islip, employees didn’t want to talk about possible liability of over-serving a patron.

“It’s just a terrible tragedy,” one person said.

Laurance Grube, 40, of Mastic succumbed to his injuries. Warren Connolly, 44, of Central Islip is hospitalized. Police said they were walking along Lowell Avenue because sidewalks were snow covered.

“Because of the snow that is covering the shoulder, and the sidewalk, they were unfortunately forced to walk in the roadway,” Detective Sgt. Rand said.

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“Yeah, I know who he is. Oh no,” one of the victim’s neighbors said.

“People shouldn’t drive drunk with kids in car,” another person said.

And just blocks from the hit and run pedestrians complained while walking to the Central Islip train station.

“I saw the body in the street … very, very bad,” a witness said.

“I have to walk on street here. It’s scary and cars skid,” another person said.

Police also said Ventuzelo has a prior arrest for driving while impaired in 2009.

He has been charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated with a passenger less than 16-years-old, leaving the scene of an accident and endangering the welfare of a child. Police say they do not know how much alcohol Ventuzelo consumed. Blood test results are pending.

The endangerment charge is a felony following the passing of Leandra’s Law in November 2009. The law was passed after Leandra Rosado, 11, was killed in a drunken driving accident after the minivan in which she was a passenger crashed on West Side Highway in Manhattan in October 2009.

If convicted he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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