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$1 million bail set in alleged hit-run on Long Island that claimed life of disabled girl, 13

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HEMPSTEAD, New York — Bail has been set at $1 million for a driver accused of a hit-run that killed a 13-year-old with Down syndrome.

Attorney Michael DerGarabedian (dehr-gehr-uh-BEE'-dee-uhn) said Tuesday that his client, Michael Elardo, is a former New York City police officer who retired on disability.

DerGarabedian said Elardo thought he had hit a construction cone and not a person.

Nassau County police allege he fled after striking 13-year-old Bryanna Soplin as she crossed Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown early Sunday.

Her parents believe she slipped out of the house in the middle of the night, hoping to visit her grandparents.

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