RIVERHEAD - A Nesconset man today pleaded not guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal hit-and-run, but the victim's family says the suspect should face much more serious charges.
Authorities say 23-year-old Thomas Wik was walking home last year when Craig Williams hit him and fled. Williams was arraigned today on grand jury charges of leaving the scene, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
Wik's family is enraged because Williams, who could have faced more serious charges, surrendered an hour after the crash and was never tested by police for drugs or alcohol.
State Sen. Charles Fuschillo submitted and passed a bill this week that calls for stricter punishments for leaving the scene of an accident. Under the bill, leaving a fatal crash calls for up to 15 years instead of seven, and leaving an injury crash calls for up to seven years instead of four.
Fuschillo says he believes his bill has a better chance of passage in the state Assembly this year than in years past.
Meanwhile, the Wik family says they will keep pressing for more severe penalties for the man they say killed their son.