Miller Place man accused of driving high, killing bicyclist appears in court

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MIDDLE ISLAND -

A Miller Place man accused of driving high on drugs and killing a bicyclist was arraigned in court Sunday.

According to Suffolk police, 56-year-old Stephen Salzman, from Ridge, was riding his bike on Middle Country Road in Middle Island when he was struck and killed by a Mitsubishi Lancer around 4:30 a.m. Saturday

Police say the driver of that car - Vincent Rienzie, Jr. - was high on drugs at the time.

Prosecutors tell News 12 that the 27-year-old admitted to smoking crack and taking suboxone before driving.

As he was led to the Suffolk County Courthouse in Central Islip Sunday morning, Rienzie denied that charge, claiming instead that he dozed off behind the wheel.

Authorities say they found a crack pipe in the woods near the crash and a makeshift tourniquet -- used to inject opioids -- in the car.

Prosecutors say Rienzie has one prior felony conviction and seven misdemeanors.

His bond was set at $500,000.

Susan Milligan says Salzman was her stepdaughter's husband. She says he leaves behind three children and a wife.

She says she hopes the alleged drugged driver gets himself clean before someone else gets hurt.

"Hopefully this gentleman, somewhere down the line, gets the help he needs. And this never happens to anybody else," she said.

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