Police: West Babylon man arrested for driving drunk, striking bicyclist and leaving scene

Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand is calling for a change, saying drivers are speeding and putting lives at risk.

News 12 Staff

Jan 26, 2024, 12:21 PM

Updated 167 days ago

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Police say a West Babylon man was arrested for striking a bicyclist with his car while driving drunk and then leaving the scene Thursday night in Farmingdale.
Police say officers responded to a crash on Fulton Street, where they found a 52-year-old man who was knocked off his bike by a Honda. He was hospitalized for head trauma.
They say the driver, 34-year-old Brandon Douglas Barnes, sped off. However, according to court documents, he returned to the scene about an hour later and told officers, "It was my fault - I am the one you are looking for."
Police say they could smell alcohol on his breath. He was given a Breathalyzer test two hours after the crash, which authorities say found that he had a blood alcohol level of .15%, nearly twice the legal limit.
Authorities say Barnes is charged with DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and assault. He appeared before a judge on Friday and pleaded not guilty before being released on his own recognizance.
Residents near the scene told News 12 that the roadway is notorious for accidents.
“This road has always been pretty dangerous, and the laws have to be a little bit stricter because you never know who's going to be drunk on the road,” said Regina Farlese.
Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand says this is hte fifth pedestrian accident on a small stretch of Route 109 in four weeks.
Previously, a grandmother and her grandson were hit by SUV at Route 109 and Main Street in late December.
Days later, an 87-year-old man was hit near Nelson Street.
Ekstrand is calling for a change, saying drivers are speeding and putting lives at risk.
"When both these lights are green, they're zooming down the street because it's a straight open highway," Ekstrand says.
New York state has already made some changes along Route 109 in recent years, reducing the speed limit to 35 mph, narrowing lanes and adjusting signal times.
The New York State Transportation Department says it is currently studying traffic on that stretch of Route 109, but they will not say when the review will be done


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