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Upstate N.Y. woman charged with fatal hit and run drove with man still impaled on windshield

June 24, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Upstate N.Y. woman charged with fatal hit and run drove with man still impaled on windshield

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A woman from upstate was charged on Monday with a fatal hit and run after she drove with a man impaled on her windshield for over an hour after hitting him.

According to the Times-Union, a 30-year-old digital advertising executive was killed in the early morning hours of December 6, 2015, in Halfmoon, just north of Albany.

Maria Lentini has been indicted by a Saratoga County grand jury on charges of reckless endangerment, refusal to submit to a breath test, and leaving the scene of an incident causing personal injury and death without reporting it.

Patrick Duff’s friends told WDTN-TV that they believed Lentini should have received harsher charges. However, the attorney representing Duff’s parents defended the charges, which includes two felonies.

Dan Dagostino, Duff family attorney, said in a statement: “They believe that, in light of the evidence the district attorney has had to use, that the best result has happened.”

According to court documents, Lentini crashed head-on into Duff with her BMW at around 2:30 a.m. as he was walking home. The impact reportedly forced Duff through the windshield.

However, that did not stop Lentini from fleeing the scene. She drove away and instead of calling 911, she texted her friends and families to describe what happened. Saratoga Sheriff’s deputies found him dead laying in her shattered windshield over an hour later when Lentini’s sister called the police.

The woman pleaded not guilty to first-degree reckless endangerment and fleeing the scene of an accident back in December. According to the Daily Gazette, she was booked into custody but then released on $20,000 bail.

Duff was a graduate of Le Moyne College in Syracuse and had risen to become a top-performing advertising sales representative at Hibu. His friends established a Facebook group called #JusticeForDuff that has drawn in over 2,600 members on Thursday.

Richard Pustolaka, one of Duff’s friends, said in an interview with WDTN, “This crime is not as light as they’re making it seem … There were people that lost a son, a brother, and they don’t really have information about it still.”

Karen Heggen, Saratoga County D.A., declined to comment on Lentini’s rap, citing that revealing any details may compromise the prosecution of the case.

A fundraising event has been planned by Justice for Duff organizers scheduled for July 8th at a local bar in Clifton Park. The event will raise money in Duff’s honor, and donations will be made toward Albany Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital.

On Wednesday, one person posted on the Facebook page above several pictures of Duff and his friends, saying: “Here’s a bunch of pictures from one of the best summers of my life….And this dude is to thank. Still think about him every single day. And justice will be served because of the actions of every person here. Keep up the amazing work.”

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