Sentencing day for driver in deadly Riverhead hit and run

July 10, 2013 3:41:35 AM PDT
A Middle Island pool mechanic will be sentenced Wednesday in the deadly Riverhead hit and run that killed a man who was celebrating his 50th birthday.

Joseph Plummer mowed down Scott Wayte last December as he crossed East Main Street on his way back into a restaurant where his birthday party was being held.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said he will recommend the maximum two and one-third to 7 years in prison for the 49-year-old Plummer.

"As I have said repeatedly this year, the penalty for a hit and run must be increased in the State of New York to at least a maximum of 15 years in state prison," Spota said. "Today, to leave the scene of the accident actually results in a lesser punishment than if a driver involved was found at the scene by police to be driving under the influence."

Police say that Wayte had left the restaurant to move his parked car closer to the curb.

"After he moved his vehicle, he began walking across the street to return to his family and friends in the restaurant when he was struck down by Plummer," Spota said.

The impact knocked Wayte into the path of another car, which stayed at the scene.

Riverhead police found Plummer's 1999 Saturn sedan hidden under a swimming pool tarp at his home. He was arrested on January 2, five days after the crime.

Plummer claimed he didn't know what he hit, but drove home 13 miles back to his Middle Island home with a shattered windshield.

On June 3, Plummer pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving a death.