In My Own Hometown: DNA Evidence Leads to Conviction in Hit and Run
I never thought I would say the phrase that at this point has become cliché: I can't believe this happened in my own hometown. A Kingston, NY man was recently convicted of a felony related to a hit and run that left an unconscious victim needing a helicopter evacuation for medical care. What makes the incident stand out even more for me is that it happened on the same road where I would wait for the school bus as a child.
Hit and Run in Accord, NY
Police say that 25-year-old Brysen Tota struck a 62-year-old pedestrian while Tota was driving on Whitfield Rd, in Accord, NY. The event is disturbing enough, and thankfully the victim survived, but it's also a jarring thought to imagine the same road where I waited for the bus as an elementary school student being turned into a crime scene. It's also troubling to know that the victim could have easily been one of my parents, who still live nearby. While details weren't released as to any possible cause for Tota's vehicle to strike the pedestrian, police say that what happened next clearly made the collision a crime.
Police alleged that not only did Tota flee the scene, but he also attempted a cover-up.
Tampering with Evidence
Tota was originally indicted on the charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence after authorities say he attempted to destroy evidence of the collision. Not only did Tota immediately leave the scene (and the victim) to pick up a friend at Newark Airport, police say, but he also visited a car wash in an attempt to wash away any evidence on his vehicle. He was unsuccessful.
Police still managed to find DNA from the victim on Tota's car, and on Thursday was sentenced to a maximum of four years in prison.
While an event like this is rare on a small back road like Whitfield, there are more dangerous roads in New York state. Check out the top 5 below.
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