WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - The box truck driver connected to the fatal hit-and-run accident on I-95 that took the life of tow-truck driver Salvatore Brescia has pleaded guilty in Westchester County Court.
Ozone Park resident Anthony Mangano, 52, has pleaded guilty to a felony count of leaving the scene of a personal injury incident resulting in a death, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said on Thursday.
Brescia, a New Rochelle native, had lived in Yonkers before moving to Stamford, Conn., just before he was killed.
According to police, shortly before 7 a.m. on Thursday, Dec.29 last year, the 32-year-old Brescia was tending to a disabled vehicle in the northbound lane on I-95 near exit 18B (White Plains/Mamaroneck Avenue) when he was struck by a motorist driving a box truck who proceeded to speed off.
Scarpino said that after striking Brescia in Harrison, Mangano didn’t stop, and instead continued driving, exiting I-95 and circling back to view the scene, at which point state police and paramedics had responded to the site. He proceeded to pass through the New Rochelle Toll Plaza again and passed the scene, heading north toward his destination in Connecticut.
“At no time, did he stop to report his involvement or provide information to police,” Scarpino noted.
State police had to get down and dirty to track down Mangano, relying on “old-fashioned police work,” not advanced technologies.
Police said that initially, there was little evidence to help make a case, but a few small pieces of broken plastic left at the scene from the hit-and-run’s side view mirror gave investigators their break. State police were able to determine the specific type of plastic used to make the mirror fragments and subsequently tracked down the manufacturers.
After contacting the manufacturers, one of them identified the plastic fragments to a particular mirror that is commissioned for trucks made by GMC and Isuzu, police said. Through contact with auto parts distribution centers and dealers, they obtained a list of customers who had recently had their right side view mirror replaced.
According to police, troopers interviewed customers until a suspect - Mangano - was identified. Ultimately, Mangano, who serves as a substitute driver for a Queens trucking company, was determined to be the suspect that left the scene, police said.
Mangano is due back in court in March for sentencing, where he will face up to seven years in state prison.
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