Alleged Fatal Long Island Expressway Hit-and-Run Driver Turns Himself in

Craig Perkins of Ronkonkoma pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident

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    Suffolk County DA
    Craig Brackley Perkins

    Police in Suffolk County say they have arrested the driver who allegedly struck and killed a 21-year-old college student on the Long Island Expressway Sunday morning, then fled the scene.

    Craig Brackley Perkins, 52, of Ronkonkoma turned himself in at the District Attorney's office Thursday and admitted driving the car that fatally hit 21-year-old Kieran Smith of Kings Park Sunday morning.

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    Smith was headed home on the L.I.E. southbound when his car got a flat tire near Sagtikos Parkway, according to his family. He left his 2008 Nissan and was walking for help along the service road when he was hit at about 7:45 a.m.

    His family urged the driver Monday to surrender to authorities. 

    "I need to know who did it," said Caitlin Smith, Kieran's sister, as she fought back tears. "If this person doesn't come forward, it's just going to eat me alive because you left my brother on the side of the road."

    Perkins pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Police said he was cooperating with the investigation. Perkins' 2010 Ford pickup truck is being inspected at the Suffolk County Crime Lab.

    He was sent to jail with a cash bail at $5,000. Perkins will return to court May 16.

    A message was left with Perkins' attorney.

    Keiran Smith was finishing his second year at Suffolk Community College, his sister said, and was working toward becoming a doctor.

    "He was very set on going to school and making something of himself," said friend Nicole Pellegrino.  "He was a very good person."

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