NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are hunting for a hit-and-run driver who killed a Long Island mother Saturday night.
As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Erika Strebel, 27, was standing next to her Jeep, which had run out of gas, on the shoulder of Montauk Highway around 9 p.m. Saturday when she was struck. The incident occurred about a quarter-mile from Strebel’s home in Eastport.
The unknown driver kept going. Strebel’s companion in the vehicle, Edward Barton, 26, of East Moriches, suffered head and knee injuries, police said.
Strebel’s family and friends, who were making funeral arrangements Monday, rushed to the scene of the accident Saturday night, where they spotted Erika’s shoe and pursue amid shattered glass and car parts. Meanwhile, Suffolk County police searched for evidence.
Strebel, the mother of a 5-year-old, was taken by ambulance to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, where she was pronounced dead.
“Things like this don’t go away,” said Bud Mazura, press officer for the Eastport Fire Department. “The families will be carrying this forever, and the people around them are rallying to support them, which is really a beautiful thing to see.”
“She was in my graduating class. We both went Eastport-South Manor (Junior-Senior High School),” said Michael Hara. “Small class. Everyone knew each other. So it’s just terrible.”
Across the tiny hamlet — which has a population of 1,800 — there were cries for justice Monday.
“The big picture is everybody wants answers,” said Billy Wandolowski, owner of the Eastport Deli.
Added Jessica Ward, of Eastport: “How could you drive away from there and live with yourself for two, three days now? And the family’s sitting there suffering. They should turn themselves in.”
Detectives are searching body shops in the area, looking for the hit-and-run vehicles that sustained front-end damage. Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or might have information about the vehicle or its driver to call the Suffolk County police Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.
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