Police: Man struck, killed by drunken driver in Smithtown

A pedestrian was struck and killed by an alleged drunken driver in Smtihtown Friday night.



Police say 43-year-old Timothy Burke was drunk behind the wheel when he struck Kenneth Rich at around 8:30 p.m. on Route 111.



Rich, 51, died at the scene. News 12 is told Rich was a beloved doctor at Osteo Relief Institute, a practice located just a few doors down from where the crash happened. Rich had rented an apartment nearby.



Burke, of Saint James, pleaded not guilty to a DWI charge at his arraignment in Central Islip on Saturday. In court, prosecutors said Burke told police that he'd had a drink at home and then went to pick up Chinese food. He claimed that Rich "came out of nowhere."



Investigators say Burke submitted to a blood test, but the results are not yet in.



Burke's wife declined to comment about her husband's arrest. His lawyer, William McDonald, told reporters, "Mr. Burke knows that there is a fatality in this case, his heartfelt sympathies go out to the victim and his family. At this time we don't know what happened on the road that night; we know it was atrocious conditions to drive in with the torrential downpours."



Burke's bail was set at $15,000 cash.



Police are asking any witnesses to call the Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555.


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