Driver charged in hit-and-run apologizes for hitting woman in wheelchair

Posted: Updated:
AMITYVILLE -

A Copiague 19-year-old who's charged with running down a woman in a wheelchair and leaving the scene has apologized.

Around 9 p.m. Tuesday, police say Yonis Rivera hit a 42-year-old woman in a wheelchair at Ketcham Avenue and West Oak Street in Amityville.

The woman suffered minor injuries.

Speaking through a translator, Rivera says he's sorry and didn't see the woman. He says someone cut him off and ran through a light. That's when he says the accident happened.

Police say the woman fell from her wheelchair and wasn't dragged, but the wheelchair was. They say the vehicle that hit her crashed into a telephone pole two blocks away.

Rivera says he got nervous and cried, and his mind went blank. He says he went to see how the woman was and police arrived.

Lorraine Hayorsworth, who lives right where the crash happened, says the wheelchair was lodged under a truck. She says she saw the driver leave his vehicle.

Rivera is charged with reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a license. He's due back in court next week.

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