Cops: Teen high when he hit pair 19-year-old smelled of marijuana, had pills in sock after his SUV struck two joggers, killing one and seriously injuring the other, authorities say
Two friends, both workout buffs out for a nighttime jog in Huntington, were hit by a teen who was driving while high on drugs, killing one and seriously injuring the other, Suffolk police said.
Shea Rosen, 19, was driving south in a 2000 Dodge Durango at 7:25 p.m. Thursday on New York Avenue near Prime Avenue when he struck Amanda Malloy and Vincent Saunders from behind, dragging them along the busy road, police said.
Rosen, of 68 Wheatley Rd., Brookville, was charged with misdemeanor driving while impaired by drugs, police said.
Those charges probably will be upgraded, a prosecutor said.
Rosen had three accidents this year in Nassau County involving property damage, with one involving an injury, according to state Department of Motor Vehicle records. He had three traffic tickets last year, for speeding, a seat belt violation and for following too closely, according those records. Nassau and Suffolk police could not immediately provide more details.
Malloy, 29, and Saunders, 32, both of Huntington, were training for a marathon, said Malloy's sister-in-law, Christine MacQuarrie.
The two were taken to Huntington Hospital, where Malloy, a Deer Park teacher, died of her injuries.
Saunders suffered a torn aorta, a broken femur and a bad cut to the back of his head, according to a relative who declined to identify himself. He was transferred to The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and underwent surgery late Friday. He was in serious but stable condition, Suffolk police said.
A family member said earlier Friday that he was "conscious, cognizant and aware of what happened."
Rosen pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Friday at First District Court in Central Islip, where he was ordered held on $500,000 bail or $1 million bond.
His attorney, Joseph Conway of Mineola, said the defendant's family was trying to put together bail for the teen. His father, stepmother, mother and several other supporters were in court. They declined to comment.
"This is a tragedy for everyone, and they're coping with it as well," Conway said.
Rosen had just picked up his paycheck from nearby Prime Restaurant, authorities said.
He worked there as a barback, with duties like restocking ice and cleaning.
Restaurant manager Pat Foley said Rosen was a part-time employee.
"He wasn't even working last night, so we really don't know what happened," Foley said Friday.
The joggers were side by side in the road, on the right side when they were hit.
"I didn't see her," Rosen told police, according to the prosecutor, Avemaria Thompson.
Rosen's breath smelled of marijuana, and he had dilated pupils and bloodshot eyes, mumbled and was unsteady on his feet, according to a criminal complaint.
Three pills were found in his sock, the prosecutor said.
Thompson said Rosen refused to submit a blood sample to be tested for alcohol and drugs.
He said, "I'm not taking anything. No way. I'm not taking that," Thompson said.
Police obtained a sample two hours later after a court order. The results are pending.
Rosen's sport utility vehicle, the hood dented, remained in the southbound lane of New York Avenue not far from Heckscher Park on Friday, more than 12 hours after the accident.
A running shoe lay in the street near the open rear hatch.
Credit: This story was written by JOHN VALENTI, ANDREW STRICKLER, SOPHIA CHANG, DAVID J. LOPEZ and JENNIFER KELLEHER.