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Posted on: December 17, 2021

Utility Worker Sentenced in Fatal August 2020 Crash that Killed Bicyclist

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Matthew Mummaw was high on meth, amphetamines, and fentanyl when he struck a 38-year old man riding home from work

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith announced that a utility worker from Jacksonville, Florida was sentenced today to 3-1/2 years to 10 years in prison for operating a utility truck while high on multiple drugs and striking and killing a bicyclist in Uniondale in August 2020. 

Matthew Mummaw, 34, pleaded guilty on October 29, 2021 before Judge Meryl Berkowitz to charges of manslaughter in the second degree (a C felony), vehicular manslaughter in the second degree (a D felony), leaving the scene of an incident resulting in death (a D felony), assault in the second degree (a D violent felony), two counts of assault in the third degree (an A misdemeanor), driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor) and leaving the scene of an incident resulting in property damage (a violation). 

The NCDA recommended a sentence of five to twelve years in prison. Judge Berkowitz sentenced the defendant to three and one-third to ten years in prison. 

“High on a combination of meth, amphetamines, and fentanyl, this defendant got behind the wheel of a utility truck and left in his wake a trail of death and destruction, crashing into multiple vehicles, injuring drivers and tragically killing 38-year-old Erik Canales as he rode home from work on his bicycle,” said Acting DA Smith. “People should be able to trust that when they are on our sidewalks and our roadways that they will make it home again. By taking reckless, dangerous drivers like Mummaw off the roads and holding them accountable for their crimes, we can keep Nassau County’s roads safe for all who travel them.”

In August 2020, Matthew Mummaw was in Nassau County as an employee of Heart Utilities of Jacksonville. He was being paid to repair power lines that were impacted by Hurricane Isaias. On August 14, 2020, Mummaw met other members of his utility crew at the Dave and Buster’s parking lot in Westbury, waiting to see if they had work for the day. 

The defendant, high on a combination of drugs, drove his utility truck out of the Dave and Buster’s parking lot and onto Merchant’s Concourse. As he approached the intersection of Merchant’s Concourse and Corporate Drive, the light at the intersection was red. Mummaw then drove through multiple vehicles stopped at the light, between lanes of travel and through the intersection while the light was still red, striking five separate vehicles and causing property damage.

Mummaw left the scene of those collisions and continued to drive on Merchant’s Concourse where he veered out of his lane and mounted the sidewalk near the overpass for the Meadowbrook State Parkway, striking 38-year-old Erik Canales who was riding his bicycle home from work.  Canales was pronounced deceased at the scene.

After striking Canales, the defendant left the scene of the collision and continued driving erratically, crashing head-on into a delivery truck and pickup truck on Stewart Avenue. 

Mummaw then exited his vehicle and began physically assaulting the driver of the delivery truck, punching him in the head and body until the defendant was removed by police and civilians. Both the drivers of the pickup and delivery trucks sustained injuries from the crash. 

The investigation found Mummaw was high on drugs including meth, amphetamines, and fentanyl at the time of the crash. 

The defendant was arrested by Nassau County Police on August 14, 2020. 

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Katie Zizza and Assistant District Attorney Kally Konstantinidis of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Steven Epstein, Esq. 


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