Nick's Law: Farmingville man's death prompts bill that would toughen penalties for hit-and-runs

Police say 25-year-old Nick Puzio was struck while crossing Medford Avenue in Patchogue on March 12 by 19-year-old Elian Jurado-Zavala, of Bay Shore. Detectives say Zavala did not stop.

Antoinette Biordi and

News 12 Staff

Apr 1, 2023, 9:36 PM

Updated 385 days ago

Share:

A hit-and-run that killed a Farmingville man has prompted the introduction of bill in the state Senate that would increase the jail time and penalties for leaving the scene of a deadly accident.
"We started the petition, and we did our research and our legwork to see what we can do," said Caitlin McNeil. She and her friends knew they had to do something after their best friend, 25-year-old Nicholas Puzio, killed in an alleged hit-and-run.
Police say Puzio was struck while crossing Medford Avenue in Patchogue on March 12 by 19-year-old Elian Jurado-Zavala, of Bay Shore. Detectives say Zavala did not stop.
He was arrested the next day after police said at least a dozen surveillance videos showed him fleeing the scene. They say another vehicle also hit Puzio and the driver just kept going.
Puzio's friends started to collect signatures for a petition to increase the penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a deadly accident. It received more than 7,800 signatures as of Saturday. They hope to get even more at an event they held Saturday in Puzio's honor.
"We're hoping people will think twice... because you can save somebody if you just stopped," said Puzio's friend, Nicolette Barbera.
That petition also led to state Sen. Dean Murray to introduce Nick's Law which aims to increase jail time and fines for anyone who leaves the scene of a fatal accident. If passed, the law would change it from a class D felony to a class B felony and it would raise the fines from $5,000 to $30,000.
"We're going to do everything we can. We're going to try and get bipartisan support to try and push this through. It needs to get done," Murray said.
The event was not just about getting information out about Nick's Law -- friends and family wanted to come together to remember Puzio and celebrate his life.
"Nick has touched so many people's lives and changed so many people for the better. He was really the light in every room you would walk into," said friend Shaun McNeil.
Puzio's family and friends say they are hoping to get justice.
"The fact that we're making so much noise about this that it's not going to go unnoticed, he'll never be forgotten," said friend Vincent Wright.
If you would like more information on the petition, follow this link. For more on Nick's Law, click here.


More from News 12
1:56
Authorities: Nassau County police officer attacked by 2 men, pit bull in East Rockaway

Authorities: Nassau County police officer attacked by 2 men, pit bull in East Rockaway

1:19
Sunny start before cloudy Sunday afternoon for Long Island

Sunny start before cloudy Sunday afternoon for Long Island

0:36
Southampton police: Man arrested in Riverside machete attack that injured 24-year-old

Southampton police: Man arrested in Riverside machete attack that injured 24-year-old

1:10
Lawmakers in Albany pass $237 billion state budget, restore school funding

Lawmakers in Albany pass $237 billion state budget, restore school funding

0:28
Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump trial dies of injuries, police say

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

Knicks beat 76ers 111-104 in Game 1 of playoffs. Brunson and Hart score 22 points and backups star

Andersen, Noesen help Hurricanes push past Islanders 3-1 to open 1st-round NHL playoff series

Andersen, Noesen help Hurricanes push past Islanders 3-1 to open 1st-round NHL playoff series

0:42
'A Dream Prom Boutique' ensures Nassau high schoolers have prom of their dreams

'A Dream Prom Boutique' ensures Nassau high schoolers have prom of their dreams

0:43
Huntington’s Blue Line Deli & Bagels gives away free bagels to customers ahead of Islanders postseason

Huntington’s Blue Line Deli & Bagels gives away free bagels to customers ahead of Islanders postseason

0:18
Car crashes into back of oil truck in Long Beach

Car crashes into back of oil truck in Long Beach

0:19
Authorities: RV catches fire at park in Shirley

Authorities: RV catches fire at park in Shirley

0:28
Police: Levittown woman arrested for driving drunk with 2 children in vehicle

Police: Levittown woman arrested for driving drunk with 2 children in vehicle

1:13
CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

CDC: Children ER visits increased last 3 years for accidental Melatonin ingestion

2:05
Long Island native ID’d as person who set himself on fire outside Trump trial in Manhattan

Long Island native ID’d as person who set himself on fire outside Trump trial in Manhattan

0:37
Officials: Wildlife rehabilitator took raccoons into her Merrick home without required rabies license

Officials: Wildlife rehabilitator took raccoons into her Merrick home without required rabies license

1:42
FBI on alert as Jewish Long Islanders prepare to celebrate Passover

FBI on alert as Jewish Long Islanders prepare to celebrate Passover

0:35
Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

Tesla recalling nearly 4,000 Cybertrucks because accelerator pedal can get stuck

1:46
Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer’s defense attorney demands information on other ‘top suspect’

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer’s defense attorney demands information on other ‘top suspect’

Is your mom awesome? Long Island tell us why your Mom Rocks!

Is your mom awesome? Long Island tell us why your Mom Rocks!

Show off your team spirit! Share your photos with News 12

Show off your team spirit! Share your photos with News 12