Police: Driver admitted to hitting cyclist, taking off

Taunton hit-and-run victim Michael Alfano

TAUNTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Friends of the man who was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Taunton on Thursday night are wondering whether he might have lived, had the teenage driver accused of hitting him on his bicycle stopped and called the police.

Michael Alfano, 36, died Friday from his injuries after being struck on Thursday night by Cecily Kilsby-Munafo on Washington Street near Morton Hospital, a prosecutor said in Taunton District Court on Monday.

Kilsby-Munafo, 19, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with death resulting and misleading the police. Her boyfriend, Ryan O’Day, is charged with being an accessory after the fact. He’s accused of tossing Alfano’s bicycle into the woods after the crash.

The pair were arrested over the weekend after an investigation in which police discovered Alfano’s bicycle and one of his shoes in the woods about 1,000 feet from the scene. They discovered the car, a Toyota Venza, abandoned on nearby Park Street.

In court Monday, prosecutors said Kilsby-Munafo admitted to police she was driving the car and claimed her boyfriend, O’Day, told her to “get out of there” after she hit Alfano.

“Cecily told us that she tried to slam on the brakes…she saw the bike go under the car,” police wrote in a report obtained by Eyewitness News. “She stated that Ryan screamed at her to keep going.”

Police said she changed her story repeatedly before confessing.

Cecily Kilsby-Munafo and Ryan O'Day (Photos: Taunton Police)
Cecily Kilsby-Munafo and Ryan O’Day (Photos: Taunton Police)

According to prosecutors, a passerby called police after spotting Alfano lying in the road with “massive head wounds” around 11:30 Sunday night. It’s unclear exactly how long he lay unconscious after the crash before he was discovered, but Kilsby-Munafo told police she and O’Day went for a drive around 10:30.

Prosecutors said the bicycle was lodged underneath the car, causing sparks to fly, so O’Day got out, removed the bicycle and threw it into the woods.

“Maybe if she had stopped and called the cops, he wouldn’t be dead right now,” said Amanda Parker, Alfano’s friend and ex-girlfriend. “I hope she gets punished.”

Alfano’s girlfriend, Shannon DiNinno, also came court Monday. She said she’s currently pregnant with Alfano’s son, due in March.

“He was an amazing guy, he loved everybody, he tried his hardest to do the best for everybody,” she said. “He would’ve been an amazing dad. He loved all his children.” Alfano was also the father of a 12-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl, DiNinno said.

“He was robbed,” she said of her unborn son, who she plans to name Michael Alfano, Jr. “Because of carelessness.”

Police said the car that killed Alfano belongs to O’Day’s mother, who told investigators her son had the car. Police said they also received a call from someone claiming to be O’Day’s mother, reporting the car missing, but later discovered it was Kilsby-Munafo who made the call.

Kilsby-Munafo’s bail was set at $10,000 cash, but she was ordered held for up to 90 days as a probation violator. Prosecutors said she’s on probation for breaking and entering and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Her defense attorney, Kenneth Fredette, said she was “extremely remorseful” but declined to comment on the details of the allegations against her.

O’Day, 26, was arraigned on a charge of accessory after the fact and his bail was set at $7,500 cash. He’s also on probation after being charged with strangling Kilsby-Munafo. His defense attorney, Mark Gallagher, declined to comment on the case but said in court that O’Day’s accessory charge is based only on Kilsby-Munafo’s statements, not any other eyewitness accounts.