Mastic woman accused in motorcycle hit-and-run

A Mastic woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday after she was arrested for allegedly mowing down a motorcyclist.

Blanca Rivera was driving on Eleanor Avenue in Mastic at around 1:30 p.m. Monday when the incident occurred.

According to police, Rivera turned onto Clover Street and hit a 47-year-old man on his motorcycle as he tried to pass. Police say Rivera left the scene, but was later arrested.

The man she's accused of hitting was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital in serious condition.

As News 12 has reported, bills had been introduced for years in an attempt to try to strengthen hit-and-run laws, but had not made it past the state Assembly. In June, one bill was approved by both houses and is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Marge Lee, of DEDDICATED, says the bill is problematic. She says there are too many conditions that must be met to induce a larger sentence.

Those conditions include causing the serious injury or death of more than one person or a reckless driving offense. The driver must also have a suspended or revoked license for a previous DWI or leaving the scene.

The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Fred Thiele, concedes the bill is weak, but says a stronger bill might not have made it through the Assembly.

Thiele says he is working with the district attorneys in Nassau and Suffolk and the governor's office to amend the bill before it is signed.

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