The man charged with striking and killing an Amagansett mother in January while she was pushing her two toddlers in a stroller along the shoulder of Montauk Highway was officially charged with two felonies on Thursday, April 1, for leaving the scene of an accident and trying to throw police off his trail.
Mark A. Corrado, 28, was arraigned in a Riverside courtroom Thursday on the charge of leaving the scene of the accident that left 36-year-old Yuris Murillo-Cruz dead and her two young children in intensive care. He also was charged with tampering with physical evidence, for removing identifying information from his vehicle when he abandoned it.
He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Ms. Murillo-Cruz’s husband, Wilson Murillo, said outside the courtroom on Thursday that he wants Mr. Corrado to pay for running over his wife and children “like rag dolls” and leaving them for dead.
“He wants to see justice served,” family friend Angelica Marta said, translating for Mr. Murillo. “He wants him to pay for what he did. His wife was priceless. He wants him to know she was a human being, she was a mother and she was a wife.”
Despite having confessed when he turned himself in several hours after the accident, Mr. Corrado pleaded not guilty in court. He has been free since the January 13 incident, and Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice John Collins again released him on his own recognizance, as dictated by new state laws that prohibit bail for nonviolent offenses.
Judge Collins ordered Mr. Corrado’s driver’s license suspended, prohibited him from leaving New York State and consuming alcohol or drugs, and imposed a 9 p.m. curfew. He is due back in court on May 6.
The Murillo-Cruz family said they were told by prosecutors from the Suffolk County district attorney’s office that it could take as long as a year for the case to work its way through the judicial system.
Mr. Corrado’s appointed attorney from the Legal Aid Society, declined to comment on the charges against his client.
The defendant also is facing another, less serious charge of leaving the scene of an accident, stemming from a separate incident that took place in western Suffolk County in November.
In his handwritten confession the afternoon of the Amagansett accident, Mr. Corrado said he had taken his eyes off the road and reached down to grab a water bottle off the floor of the pickup truck he had borrowed from a friend to get to work in Montauk that day. The vehicle drifted onto the shoulder of the highway and struck Ms. Murillo-Cruz and her children.
After realizing that he had struck a person, he said, he turned down a nearby street, did a U-turn and returned to the highway just east of where he could see other motorists stopping to try and help the victims on the side of the road.
Mr. Corrado turned back onto the highway but headed east, away from the accident scene. He then turned down another side street, into the Beachampton neighborhood, pulled his car off the road in a wooded area, removed the license plates, scraped the vehicle registration sticker off the windshield, and removed other identifying items from inside the truck.
He hailed an Uber to pick him up at a nearby beach and drive him back to his house in West Babylon.
He called East Hampton Town Police about three hours later to tell them he had been the one driving the vehicle and agreed to turn himself in at a Suffolk County Police Department precinct, where he confessed.
Ms. Murillo-Cruz died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Her children, whom she had been pushing toward their home in a tandem stroller, were kept in pediatric intensive care at Stony Brook University Hospital for two days and released. But on Thursday Ms. Marta said they are still suffering lingering physical and emotional difficulty from the incident.
Ms. Murillo-Cruz’s 2-year-old son is currently suffering from pneumonia, which he has been more prone to because of the bruised lungs he suffered in the accident, she said. His older sister is still suffering from the effects of shock.
“She was shy before — now she’s even more shy,” Ms. Marta said. “She’s still in shock. She’s started therapy, so we’re hoping to start the grieving process for her.”