Two weeks after a car crash that took the life of beloved Brookhaven National Lab safety engineer and avid cyclist Stephen F. Kane, bail was reduced on Wednesday to $1000 for the man driving the car.
According to Joe Cozzo, the Central Islip-based attorney for William Slatton, 31, who was charged with driving while under the influence of methadone with his four children in the car, the bail was dropped from $10,000 to $1000, with bond at $2000.
Slatton remains charged with all misdemeanor crimes currently – DWAI drugs, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. The charges could result up to a year in jail. He has been held since the accident at the Suffolk County Correctional facility.
Initially, Slatton was held over the weekend after Riverhead Judge Alan Smith . Next, Cozzo said, bail was dropped to $10,000 cash, $20,000 bond.
In past interview, Slatton's lawyer indicated that the defendant had approximately $1,900 in savings.
With bail reduced Wednesday from $10,000 to $1,000, Cozzo said, "His family is attempting to bail him out now."
According to Cozzo, a toxicology report has not yet come back from the lab. "As of right now, there are not any more charges," Cozzo said. "Because the charges haven't been upgraded because of the lab report right now, it's just an accident. An accident that led to a fatality."
Slatton's next scheduled court date is Jan. 15.
Riverhead Police reported that Slatton was driving on Route 25 in Calverton, near the Calverton National Cemetery on Nov. 1 when his 2005 Toyota Corrolla – which was driving westbound – veered across the street and struck bicyclist Kane, a BNL engineer, former Coast Guard member, and recent grandfather.
Kane, an avid bicyclist, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
After the accident, hundreds of loving tributes poured in from Kane's family and colleagues, who celebrated his life.
Prosecutors said that Slatton was high on methadone at the time of the crash, during which four of his children were in the car. Assistant District Attorney Dennis Ryan said Slatton has been convicted of a felony in the past, as well as several misdemeanors. He also said Slatton has failed to appear in court on three separate occasions in the past.
Cozzo said Slatton is "extremely remorseful" over the situation, and said that the accident occurred while Slatton was passing a beverage to one of the kids in his car. Cozzo added that Slatton was on his way home from a methadone clinic in Riverhead at the time of the crash.
Requests for comment from Kane's family and the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office were not immediately returned.