Protecting Suffolk

Driver charged in death of Kings Park teacher-coach was high on fentanyl, DA says

A Mattituck man was high on fentanyl when he plowed into a Kings Park teacher and coach, then drove for almost a half-hour with a hole in his windshield and blood on his car, Suffolk prosecutors said Wednesday.

Keith Clancy, 32, left the scene in St. James on July 14, leaving parts of his car and his license plate behind near the body of Michael McDermott, 37, of Smithtown,   Assistant District Attorney James Curtin said. Clancy drove with the victim’s blood both inside and outside his vehicle until police pulled him over more than 20 miles away on the Long Island Expressway, Curtin said.

Clancy pleaded not guilty to an 11-count indictment in Central Islip. The top charge, aggravated vehicular homicide, carries a maximum penalty of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

Curtin said Clancy was high on fentanyl, speeding and driving erratically on Lake Avenue when he drove onto the shoulder and hit McDermott, knocking him 100 feet in the air. The impact was captured on surveillance video, Curtin said.

Clancy was arrested near Exit 69 of the Long Island Expressway in Manorville. He has previous convictions for driving while intoxicated by alcohol or impaired by drugs, Curtin said.

Police found fentanyl in a glassine envelope in Clancy’s car, and some suboxone — a drug used to treat narcotics addicts — rolled up in a sock in the back seat, Curtin said.

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho ordered Clancy held on bail of $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

Clancy’s attorney, Anthony La Pinta of Hauppauge said he would investigate the case before commenting on the allegations, or his client’s criminal or addiction history.

“The magnitude of the tragedy is quite clear,” he said. “It’s just terrible.”

District Attorney Timothy Sini said Clancy’s actions are “clearly connected to the opioid epidemic we are seeing throughout our country.” But he said addiction is not an excuse for driving while impaired and the terrible results that often follow.

Sini said McDermott was beloved as a teacher and a baseball coach.

“This is a real loss for the community,” he said.By Andrew Smith

Original article and credits can be found here.