Driver kills pedestrian in Suffolk County hit-and-run; police release surveillance video of suspect

Chanteé Lans Image
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Police seek driver in fatal hit-and-run on Long Island
Police are looking to identify and find the driver who fled the scene of a hit-and-run in Ronkonkoma. Chantee Lans has the story.

RONKONKOMA, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Police are looking to identify and find the driver who fled the scene of a deadly hit-and-run in Ronkonkoma.

Officials say the incident happened on at 8 p.m. on Dec. 5.

Robert Twiford, 61, parked his car at exit 60 on the eastbound ramp of the Long Island Expressway. He got out of his vehicle and somehow ended up laying on the ground before being hit by an another car, officials said.

It's not clear why Twiford was laying on the ground, but his wife says he has no known medical condition.

Twiford died from his injuries. The driver who hit him drove off from the scene.

Suffolk County police released surveillance video of the driver, moments after he fled the scene, who stopped on Garrity Avenue to get out of his vehicle and check the damage.

"Shows a light-colored, possibly gray, 2015 to 2018 Ford Focus hatchback," Suffolk County Police Chief of Detectives John Rowan said.

The video was taken a half a mile from the initial hit-and-run crash.

Twiford's wife said his mother died a week before. She said the family is suffering and are even more devastated that police don't have the driver.

"It's been hell. I'm still in a state of shock," Donna Twiford said.

Robert Twiford was a husband, father and grandfather from Melville.

A truck driver and his family's breadwinner, Robert Twiford was die-hard Yankees fan who adored his two dogs, including his cocker-doodle named Bailey.

Donna and Bob Twiford would have reached 30 years of marriage next year.

Instead, just before Christmas, she is now a widow who had to plan his funeral.

"Please go to the police. Come forward. Tell us what happened and let us heal and have closure," she said.

Detectives say if he doesn't, they are going to continue the investigation, identify the vehicle and then make an arrest.

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