Westhampton Beach Man Arrested in Connection with Fatal Hit-and-Run Coram Crash, Cops Say


SCPD: Cruz Emelio Tum-Tipaz of Westhampton Beach, 25, fled on foot after the vehicle he was driving struck a metal utility pole and killed his passenger.

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SCPD reports the arrest of Cruz Emelio Tum-Tipaz of Westhampton Beach, 25, in connection with a Coram hit-and-run crash.

Photo by: Suffolk County Police Department

Coram, NY - February 11, 2019 - Suffolk County Police Major Case Unit detectives announce that an arrest has been made in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a man in Coram on Sunday, February 10.
A 2005 Nissan Murano was traveling eastbound on Middle Country Road when the vehicle crossed into the westbound lanes and drove off the roadway, striking a metal utility pole, at the intersection with Homestead Drive at approximately 4 a.m. The driver of the vehicle fled on foot, northbound through a parking lot, leaving two passengers in the vehicle. 
One of the passengers, Juan Morales Cuterez, 28, of Westhampton, was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. The other passenger, Eledao Bolaj-Garcia, 53 of Westhampton, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Cruz Emelio Tum-Tipaz, 25, of Westhampton Beach, has been identified as the driver who fled the scene of the crash. He has been charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in Death. He was held overnight at the Sixth Precinct for arraignment Monday morning at the First District Court in Central Islip.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.