SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island mother of two was mowed down by a driver this week, moments after she dropped off her son at a music lesson.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported exclusively, Maria Braccia, 54, was in serious condition Friday afternoon as police worked to hunt down the driver.READ MORE: Tri-State Area Residents Behind On Utility Bills Encouraged To Apply For State Assistance As Moratorium Nears End
Braccia appears clearly in a surveillance video, walking away from a music school moments after dropping off her son.
Seconds later, as she crosses the street, she is hit. The driver does not even slow down upon impact.
“You saw brake lights go on, but he didn’t stop and get out of the car or anything. He just kept going,” said Jeff Denny, owner of the Music Station in Shirley.
Denny said Braccia had just left her 17-year-old son at a half hour drum lesson. It was about 8 p.m. Thursday, and she had stepped out to kill time at the shopping center across Grand Avenue in Shirley.
The people in the music store heard the commotion outside and there, the teen found his mother lying critically injured in the street.
“When he came out, he said, ‘I think that’s my mom,’” said witness Bobby Pastore.
“I think the message here is please slow down and look ahead,” added Denny. “Who knows if the guy was texting or something?”
Braccia, a physical therapist who lives in Mastic, was rushed to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue. The pieces of the car lay in the road — the only clues as Suffolk County police tried to find the hit-and-run driver.READ MORE: Police Open Fire, Arrest Man Threatening People With Stolen Kitchen Knives In Lower Manhattan
This music store surveillance video so far revealed only that the offending vehicle was a sedan.
The car had just made a turn from busy Montauk Highway — a four-lane stretch lined with stores and red-light cameras.
Police Friday afternoon were reviewing the surveillance video to get a better look.
Merchants said the hit-and-run happened on a stretch of road plagued by speeding and distracted drivers.
“Young kids flying their cars up and down over here — they don’t pay attention to people walking across the street,” one merchant said.
“They go so fast, they don’t realize that they could hit somebody. They walk and talk on their cellphones,” another said.
Braccia was undergoing surgery for broken bones and other serious injuries Friday afternoon, and was listed in serious condition. Suffolk police were asking for witnesses who may have seen a car with front-end damage speed away.
Braccia’s fiancé, Hector Vasquez, told CBS 2 the family is seeking justice. He said “hit and runs have become an epidemic,” and he hopes the driver is apprehended.
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