Driver crashes into pole & flees, leaving passenger to die
A heartless driver ditched his SUV after slamming into a pole on Long Island early Sunday, leaving one of his passengers to die and the other trapped in the vehicle with serious injuries, police said.
Cruz Emilio Tum-Tipaz, 25, was charged Sunday with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
He is due to appear in Central Islip court Monday.
Tum-Tipaz, of Westhampton Beach, drove a 2005 Nissan Murano east on Middle Country Road near Homestead Drive in Coram about 4 a.m. on Sunday when he swerved into the oncoming lane, skidded off the roadway and smashed into a metal utility pole, said Suffolk County cops.
Tum-Tipaz then ran off through a nearby parking lot — leaving behind his two male passengers in the mangled wreckage.
One of his passengers — identified by cops as Juan Morales Cuterez, 28, of Westhampton — was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other passenger, 53year-old Eledao Bolaj-Garcia, also of Westhampton, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious but nonlife-threatening injuries, officials said.
Middle Country Road was closed off until about 11 a.m. on Sunday as police investigated, according to the state Department of Transportation’s Twitter page.