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Police & Fire

Mattituck Man Charged After Popular Kings Park HS Teacher Killed In Hit-Run Crash In St. James

Michael McDermott, 37 Photo Credit: GoFundMe
Lake Avenue north of Oak Street in Saint James, where the motorist is accused of fleeing the scene of the hit-and-run crash. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A suspect has been charged in a hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a popular high school teacher and coach on Long Island.

The crash happened Sunday afternoon, July 14 in on a residential street in Suffolk County and the suspect was caught a short time later on the eastbound Long Island Expressway, near Exit 69 in Manorville.

Michael McDermott, 37, a teacher at Kings Park High School, was jogging on the shoulder of the southbound lane of Lake Avenue, north of Oak Street in Saint James, when he was struck by a southbound 2014 Nissan sedan at 12:21 p.m., Suffolk County Police said.

The driver, Keith Clancy, fled the scene in the Nissan, according to police.

McDermott, of Smithtown, was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

Police located Clancy driving the Nissan eastbound on the Long Island Expressway. He was pulled over by a Seventh Precinct officer near exit 69 in Manorville at approximately 12:49 p.m.

Clancy, 32, of Mattituck, was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He was held overnight at the Seventh Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Monday morning, July 15.

McDermott taught physical education and coached junior varsity baseball at Kings Park.

Kings Park Central School District Superintendent Timothy T. Egan said McDermott was "a wonderful man, talented teacher/coach, and beloved member of our staff, and this news will be shocking to all that knew him. The district is in the process of reaching out to mental health staff to provide support for both students and staff."

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555. All calls will be kept confidential.

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