FDNY veteran charged with leaving scene of fatal hit-and-run

Posted: Updated:
BUCHANAN -

An FDNY firefighter has been charged in connection to a weekend hit-and-run in the village of Buchanan that killed a 63-year-old man.

Eric Werner, 44, was charged Monday with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Officials say a passerby called police around midnight Dec. 29, reporting that Joseph Orichello, 63, had been hit and left to die on Albany Post Road.

Police say they would have had no evidence if it weren't for a very specific car part only found on certain Jeep models being found at the scene.

Detectives found the Jeep, scrubbed clean, in a trailer lot in Peekskill. They say there was reason to believe Orichello tried to hide the car and alter it in someway.

Police tracked the Jeep to Werner and arrested him at his Buchanan home. Werner is an 18-year veteran of the FDNY in Queens.

Chief of Investigative Services John Hodges praised the fast work of detectives.

"Some really good work by narrowing it down with the van and making an arrest within 24 hours, because there wasn't a lot to go by other than that," says Hodges.

Police are expecting to upgrade the charges to homicide or assault. Werner is out on $25,000 bail. He is due back in court in January.

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