Charged in Cyclist’s Death

A Southampton man charged with drunken driving on May 2 after his car struck and killed a bicyclist on County Road 39 has been indicted by a grand jury on multiple felony charges, including manslaughter. Jesse Werner Steudte, 21, pleaded not guilty to the new charges at his arraignment Tuesday in the Central Islip courtroom of acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.

Neil S. Fyfe, 29, a professional golf caddie from Aberdeen, Scotland, was biking home from his job at the Sebonack Club in Southampton when he was struck and killed by an eastbound 1990 Jeep. “Civilians in the area immediately started C.P.R. on Fyfe,” police said in a statement released the next day. He was taken by ambulance to Southampton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to Neil Metcalf, who covered the story for BBC Radio Scotland, Mr. Fyfe was an extremely popular man whose death shocked the Aberdeen community. Friends set up a memorial for him on a local news Facebook page called FubarNews. 

Mr. Steudte consented to have his blood drawn at Southampton Town police headquarters, as is done in the event of an alcohol-related fatality. According to the grand jury indictment, the results showed his blood-alcohol level to be .08 of 1 percent or higher. A .08 or higher reading triggers a drunken-driving charge in New York State.

Police closed the busy highway, congested with Friday-evening eastbound traffic, for seven hours as detectives, assisted by the district attorney’s vehicular crime unit and a forensic identification and collision reconstruction unit from the state police, reconstructed the sequence of events. According to the indictment, Mr. Steudte ran a red light just before the accident.

He faces three felony charges: one of manslaughter, for recklessly causing the death of Mr. Fyfe, and two of vehicular manslaughter. He also faces two drunken-driving charges and possession of marijuana.

If convicted of the manslaughter charge, he would be sentenced to prison for anywhere from 1 to 15 years.