WALK Local News


LI Man & His Dog Killed in Hit-and-Run

LI Man & His Dog Killed in Hit-and-Run

Old Bethpage (WALK) - A man and his dog are dead after they were struck by a car during a late-night walk on Round Swamp Road, and the driver is charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

Police say Robert Michels, 42, and his lab/husky mix Sparky were hit around 12:30 AM Thursday near their Old Bethpage home. The driver left without stopping but less than an hour after the crash, Matthew Johnstone of North Massapequa returned to the scene, according to investigators.

Johnstone (pictured at left) was then arrested. He's been arraigned on a felony charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and is being held on $20,000 bail. His attorney has told the media that Johnstone, 37, was tested for drugs and alcohol but was not impaired while driving.

Michels was rushed to Nassau County Medical Center but pronounced dead around 1 AM. His dog died at the scene.

This is not the first time Johnstone has encountered legal trouble. He was once a veteran phys ed teacher and coach at East Islip High School but resigned after a former student filed suit against him, and the school district, for allegedly having a sexual relationship with her while she was a student. Johnstone also surrendered his teaching license and waived his right to ever apply again for certification to work in a school.

Photo: Nassau Police


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