Jail for woman who hit, killed man from Roslyn

Jail for woman who hit, killed man from Roslyn
Melissa McKiski, 23, of Venice, Florida, was sentenced in the hit-and-run death of Roslyn native Charles Velasquez. (Photo from Nassau County District Attorney)

A Florida woman will serve two to six years in jail for a drunken hit-and-run crash that killed a man from Roslyn in Carle Place, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Melissa McKiski, 23, of Venice, Florida, pleaded guilty in September to five charges in connection with the Oct. 1, 2015 crash that killed 22-year-old Charles Velasquez, then a resident of Bellerose, Queens, while he rode his bicycle on Old Country Road.

McKiski, a Hicksville native, reportedly apologized in court to the family of Velasquez, whose father, Carlos Velasquez of Roslyn, said he had just gotten a banking job and was about to graduate college at the time of his death.

“I know that my actions have caused all of you great pain, and I’m truly sorry for that,” McKiski said in court, according to a Newsday report.

Velasquez was riding his bicycle west on Old Country Road near Glen Cove Road with two others at 12:35 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2015, when McKiski, drunk and high on marijuana, veered into the right lane and hit him, Nassau County prosecutors said.

Velasquez was sent flying into the parking lot of a nearby shopping center and McKiski fled the scene in her Hyundai Santa Fe, prosecutors said. She had a cell phone but did not call for help.

Nassau County police arrested McKiski a short time later at Herricks Road and Helen Road in Mineola, prosecutors said.

Velasquez was taken to Winthrop-University Hospital and pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m.

McKiski pleaded guilty in September to second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, second-degree reckless endangerment and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

She was originally charged with four felonies, six misdemeanors and a traffic infraction.

Nassau prosecutors had asked acting state Supreme Court Justice William O’Brien to give McKiski four to 12 years in prison.

“Nassau Police quickly apprehended this defendant, but the tragic consequences of her recklessness cost this innocent young man his life,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “This case illustrates why New York needs to pass the strong hit and run laws that we have proposed in Albany.”

Debra Martinez, a friend of the Velasquez family, read a letter to McKiski from Carlos Velasquez during the sentencing hearing, Newsday reported.

The letter said Velasquez’s relatives “pray for her soul” and were heartened that she recognized her responsibility for the young man’s death by pleading guilty, Newsday reported.

McKiski’s attorney, John Carman of Garden City, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

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  1. Terrible as all this is, Melissa is a very nice and kind hearted person. I was in jail with her for a short time while she was awaiting her transfer to prison and she was always so pleasant and kind. One bad choice does not define who you are. I pray for her family as well as the family of Charles, peace be with them and God rest his soul.


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