Patient jumps from moving ambulance, is killed by hit-and-run driver

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HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — Suffolk County police are continuing to look for the driver of a dark sedan Tuesday after mentally ill Long Island man was hit after jumping out of an ambulance.

"I do find it a bit hard to believe that someone who ran over an individual, under the circumstances as I know them, did not realize," Acting Police Commissioner Tim Sini said.

Frank Ligrnetta, 51, of Bay Shore was being transferred between hospitals when it happened.

According to police, he unbuckled himself from an upright stretcher in the moving ambulance. He opened the door as it drove along Nichols road in Holtsville, and he jumped.

The dark sedan hit Ligrnetta and kept going.

"His sister said there is an investigation so I guess they are looking for driver who hit him and took off," neighbor Michael Cambridge said.

Neighbors said Ligrnetta was a friendly man who became isolated in recent years.

"I knew he had mental illness also but I also heard he was doing a lot of drugs too," neighbor Nancy Elliot said.

Elliot said she saw police take Ligrnetta out of his apartment in handcuffs Sunday. Officials said he was taken to Stonybrook University Hospital. He was being transferred to a new facility on Monday when he jumped from the ambulance.

Police said there may not be visible damage to the dark sedan because Ligrnetta was run over by a tire.

PIX11 News reached out to the Hunter Ambulance for comment. As of Tuesday evening, they had not responded.

Police said there was a driver and attendant in the back of the ambulance with Ligrnetta. There was no sign of a struggle.

If anyone has information on the driver that left the scene, they are urged to call police at 1-800-220-TIPS.