PORT JEFFERSON STATION - The woman accused of fatally striking a bicyclist in Port Jefferson Station on Thursday and then fleeing the scene appeared in court this morning.
Detectives charged Janice Montalvo, 54, of Centereach, with leaving the scene of an incident involving a fatality. Montalvo was also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. She pleaded not guilty to all charges today in Central Islip District Court.
Police say Bradford Packer, 51, of Port Jefferson Station, was riding his bicycle northbound at the intersection of Route 112 and Nesconset Highway when he was struck by Montalvo.
Montalvo told police she knew she hit the bicyclist, but said she fled because she panicked. Her husband, Hector, says that the couple discovered what really happened the next morning while watching the news. He also maintains that, despite the allegations, his wife is a good person and wishes that she could turn back the clock.
Packer's girlfriend, Rosanna Depinto, says he was going out to see a movie. "He would have rushed to help a person, instead this person ran away like a coward," Depinto told News 12 Long Island. "I mean you're afraid; stop. You could have saved his life. He could still be alive."
Montalvo is being held on $100,000 bail or $200,000 bond. She is due back in court on July 17.