Long Island school teacher arrested in deadly hit-and-run

 February 4, 2024

In a case that has shocked the collective conscience of countless New Yorkers, an elementary school teacher from Long Island has been charged in a deadly hit-and-run that killed a 47-year-old pedestrian last summer, as the New York Post reports.

The suspect, 34-year-old Jonathan Wibben, who is now facing felony charges in the case, is also known for his regular performances of the national anthem at New York Islanders hockey games.

It was on June 2 of last year that Wibben is accused of having collided with Peter Williams in Port Jefferson Station, leaving the man for dead.

Williams, who was reportedly on foot during a trip to buy a slice of pizza at a local convenience store, was subsequently hit by a second vehicle after Wibben fled the scene.

The driver of the second vehicle reportedly stopped at the scene and waited for law enforcement to arrive, and that individual has not faced charges in Williams' death.

It was not until earlier this year, however that Wibben was finally arrested for the events of that fateful night, and according to Superintendent David Schneider of the Bethpage School District in which he taught music classes, he is on leave pending the outcome of the criminal probe, as News 12 explained.

Attorney William Petrillo, representing Wibbens, told the outlet that his client has “a tremendous amount of genuine heartfelt sympathy and concern for the obvious tragedy in this case, that being the loss of life, and his heart and his thoughts and his prayers are for the victim's family members and friends.”

A plea of not guilty was entered by Wibben at his recent arraignment, and he was reportedly released on his own recognizance.

The accused is expected back in court at the end of this month, but in the meantime, the tragic impact of the accident on all involved has become increasingly evident.

A year prior to the events in question, Wibben's life witnessed a definite upturn, as he secured what he called his “dream” gig, namely, singing the “Star Spangled Banner” at Islander home games.

After performing at the team's season opener in the fall of 2022, Wibben posted on social media, “I am so humbled and excited to announce that I am the official National Anthem singer for the New York Islanders for the 2022-2023 season!”

Given his current legal entanglement, however, similar opportunities as well as his continued tenure with the Bethpage School District have been plunged into real doubt.

The pain is surely even deeper for those who knew and loved Williams, however, as he is the one whose life was cut dramatically short by what occurred in June.

According to the victim's sister, Williams possessed “the most amazing soul,” and while Wibben may be able to rebuild his life even if convicted, his victim will sadly have no such chance.