Victim's dad outraged by sentence for hit-and-run driver

Erika Hughes, 24, died when she was struck by Preston Mimms last year.

A roadside memorial for hit-and-run victim Erika Hughes.

A roadside memorial for hit-and-run victim Erika Hughes. (12/12/12)

MASTIC - A grieving father who lost his daughter in a hit-and-run crash last year says justice is not being served even though the driver has pleaded guilty.

Erika Hughes, 24, lost her life in July of last year as she walked along Mastic Road in Mastic. A driver struck her and fled the scene.

It took police nine months to track down and arrest the driver, 47-year-old Preston Mimms. He pleaded guilty to the crash, and the district attorney recommended a sentence of two-and-a-third to seven years in prison.

However, pending a favorable probation report, the judge in the case has tentatively agreed to sentence Mimms to just one-and-a-third to four years in prison.

The victim's father, Dennis Hughes, says he is furious about the development. "It's beyond any reason I can come up with," he says.

For several years, state Sen. Charles Fuschillo has been trying to toughen penalties for hit-and-run drivers. Erika Hughes' father says it's something he hopes the state Legislature will address soon.

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