Around 9:45pm on Thursday evening 23-year-old Queens resident and SUNY Stony Brook senior Seong Hoon Baek was cycling home along Route 347 from his new job at a Best Buy near the Long Island university when he was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver. Witnesses of the crash provided police with the driver’s license plate number, and Michael Tarduno Jr. was arrested the following day.
Tarduno, 30, was arrested at his home in Setauket, where Suffolk County police officers found drugs inside the 2001 Ford-350 pickup truck with which he hit Baek, the Post reports.
After being struck on the shoulder of Route 347 Baek was rushed to nearby Stony Brook University Medical Center, where was pronounced dead at 11pm. Tarduno is being charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and criminal possession of drugs.
In a letter to the students, faculty and staff of the school its president Samuel Stanley Jr. wrote that Baek was “well known and highly regarded by faculty, classmates and friends.” He continued: “For me personally, it is deeply troubling to lose a student, especially in such a senseless manner.”