Leandra's Law arrest made in deadly LI hit and run

Victor Ventuzelo

February 7, 2011 3:11:42 PM PST
A Long Island man is under arrest Monday for allegedly driving while intoxicated with his child in the car and fleeing the scene after he struck two pedestrians, one fatally, with his vehicle.

"It was really horrific. Very very bad," said Manie Mackin.

Mackin is still reliving the horrifying images that played out before her eyes last night.

She watched as paramedics tried to revive 40-year-old Laurance Grube on the street in front of her house.

He died, police say, when a drunk driver slammed into him and a friend and kept on going.

Police say 32-year-old Victor Ventuzelo was heading home from a Super Bowl party with his 9-year-old son in his car, when he slammed into both men, killing Grube.

"When he went home he confided in family members that he thought he might have hit someone at the scene. Family members and a neighbor convinced him to return to the scene to see if that was the case," said Sgt. William Rand.

When he returned an hour later, cops say he was still noticeably drunk.

Ventuzelo's been charged under Leandra's law, which enhances penalties for drunk drivers, caught with a child in the car.

Meanwhile back on Lowell Avenue, pedestrians like Jarid Crespo said they knew something like this would happen.

As the snow has piled up this winter, sidewalks have sat neglected, now they're buried by several feet of icy, blackened slush giving people no choice but to walk in the street.

Ventuzelo is charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated with a passenger less than 16 years old, leaving the scene of an accident and endangering the welfare of a child.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Third Squad at 631-854-8352 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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