The Middle Island man police say struck and killed a bicyclist on Middle Country Road in Calverton Thursday afternoon admitted to police he was on methadone at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors.
William Slatton, 30, was arraigned this morning in Riverhead Justice Court on charges of driving under the influence of drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Slatton pleaded not guilty to all counts and was remanded to the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 cash bail after his arraignment.
Slatton described himself as the stay-at-home dad of the four young children who were passengers in his 2005 Toyota Camry when, according to police, he veered into oncoming traffic and onto the shoulder of the opposite lane, where his car struck cyclist Steven Kane, 57. Kane was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. See prior story.
Slatton, who has prior felony and misdemeanor convictions, is currently on probation, prosecutors told Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith. He also failed to appear in court three times, the assistant district attorney said. His record prompted the court to set bail at $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond.
The case against Slatton will be reviewed by the felony division, which may bring additional charges, prosecutors said.
Kane, of Brightwaters, was an engineer at Brookhaven National Laboratory. A bicycle racing enthusiast, Kane brought his bike to work and rode every day during his lunch hour, said coworker George Goode, BNL assistant director for for environment, safety and health. Kane was a nationally ranked racer in his age group, married and a new grandfather, Goode said.