A hit-and-run driver who killed a woman in the Bronx in 2013 will serve six months in jail.
Harlem resident Abigail Lino, 24, was crossing Bruckner Avenue near a Longwood club at around 3 a.m. last August 31 when Leroy Forest hit her with “a speeding silver SUV,” according to the Daily News:
Witnesses said Lino’s body was thrown in the air by the callous driver before she came to rest in the center of the street. The driver sped off into the early morning darkness, police said.
“It’s hard to think about … we had just been inside having a good time. It’s really hard to believe,” said Ayalla Ingram, 24, who was walking with Lino moments before the accident.
“The car didn’t even slow down,” Taylor added. “It actually looked like it sped up (after it hit her).”
Lino worked for UPS and was a caregiver for her then-20-year-old sister, who has Down syndrome. She was also raising the young child of an ex, reports said.
Forest, of the Bronx, was arrested the day after the crash. According to court records, Forest pled guilty in May to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury, a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in jail, and which also allows for no jail time, or probation.
Leaving the scene was the top charge against Forest. Last week he was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation. It is not known how the sentence will affect his driving privileges.
New York State law gives some drivers an incentive to leave the scene of a serious crash. The penalty for hit-and-run is less severe than the penalty for drunk driving, and cases hinge on the courts’ ability to divine driver intent, which makes “I didn’t see her” a viable defense. Reforming the laws is one of the goals of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, but Albany lawmakers have for years failed to pass legislation that would toughen hit-and-run penalties.