HOLTSVILLE - A patient being driven to a psychiatric hospital jumped out of a moving ambulance and was then killed by a hit-and-run driver in Holtsville, police say.  

According to police, Frank Ligrnetta, 51, got out of the ambulance as it was driving on Nicolls Road to Brunswick Hospital in Amityville before 7 p.m.

Officials say Ligrnetta was being transferred in a private ambulance from Stony Brook University Medical Center. Police say he broke three of his restraints while inside the ambulance, then jumped out.  

Police say Ligrnetta was hit by a dark-colored sedan and died. According to police, the driver who hit him took off.

Acting Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini says Ligrnetta may have been run over by the vehicle's tire, meaning it may not have been damaged during the incident.  

His neighbors at a Bay Shore apartment complex say Ligrnetta's mental health had been deteriorating lately. They say his sister asked police to break into his apartment and take him to Stony Brook Medical Center on Sunday.

Police say the ambulance was operated by Hunter EMS. They say there was an attendant in the back of the ambulance with him at the time of the incident.

Hunter EMS did not respond to requests for comment.

Anyone with information who may have seen the dark-colored sedan that hit Ligrnetta can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.