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Police Say Ronald Destefano, 54, Was Struck And Killed By Hit-And-Run Driver In Stony Brook

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Suffolk County police are looking for the driver who struck and killed a man just days before Christmas.

As CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported Monday, it happened on Route 347 at Hallock Road in Stony Brook.

Police said the victim was crossing the street from south to north on Sunday at around 7 a.m. when he was hit by a car traveling westbound. Another driver called 911 to report a body in the roadway. The victim was later pronounced dead at the scene.

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The victim has been identified as 54-year-old Ronald Destefano of Lake Grove, who was described by family as a sweet and fun-loving guy.

Detectives believe the car involved is silver with damage to the front or passenger side. They're asking anyone with information to come forward.

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It was impossible for Samantha Brandenberger to hold back tears thinking of her uncle being gone. She told CBS2 he was walking to work at a Stony Brook Marshall's, like he often did because he lived nearby. However, on Sunday morning he never made it across Route 347.

"He was a family guy, very close with his brothers and sisters, close with everybody. He was a huge part of our lives. I love him so much and I just wish he was here, that none of this happened," Brandenberger said.

When asked what she would say to the driver who left her uncle in the road, Brandenberger said, "I understand you might have panicked. I understand that it might have been hard for you to realize what happened, but please, please, please just come forward. We have so many unanswered questions. We now lost a huge part of our lives."

Destefano's family is begging anyone with answers to call police.

"And give us a little bit of closure, just that little bit that can get us through the holiday. It's gonna be huge not having him this year. He was just the sweetest guy, loved everybody. He would give the shirt off his back for anybody," Brandenberger said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Suffolk County police at 631-852-6555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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