Police: Copiague man hit and killed by driver with 30 license suspensions

A Copiague man was hit and killed by a driver who allegedly had his license suspended 30 times. Police say Richard Turner, 36, was arrested

A 38-year-old pedestrian was hit and killed by a car on Sunrise Highway Thursday night, and Suffolk Police say the driver has been arrested with 30 license suspensions.

A 38-year-old pedestrian was hit and killed by a car on Sunrise Highway Thursday night, and Suffolk Police say the driver has been arrested with 30 license suspensions. (2/17/17)

COPIAGUE - A Copiague man was struck and killed Thursday by a driver who had his license suspended 30 times, according to police.

Police say Richard Turner, 36, was arrested Thursday after he hit 38-year-old Fausto Rodriguez.

According to police, it happened around 6:30 p.m. Thursday on eastbound Sunrise Highway near Bayview Avenue in Copiague. Rodriguez was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Rodriguez had been heading to the drugstore to get heart medicine for his mother, according to friends.

Turner is facing a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He pleaded not guilty in Central Islip court. Turner was ordered held in lieu of $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail.

Turner's lawyer says 30 suspensions added up quickly on his client after he failed to answer a few moving violations.

"If you continue not answering those suspensions, that's how you get 10 suspensions or 30 suspensions on 10 dates," says attorney Doug Byrne.

Under current New York law, anyone guilty of driving with suspensions is liable for what amounts to a misdemeanor. Dawn Nappi, who lost her daughter to a suspended driver nine years ago, says the law should be toughened. As News 12 Long Island has reported, she's proposed Angelica's Law, which would toughen the penalties for people caught driving with five or more suspensions.

"It's one after another," says Nappi. "Why do we even have licenses if people aren't going to adhere to it and there's no repercussions for driving without one?"

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