AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - A motorcyclist faced a hospital arraignment on charges of criminally negligent homicide for a Sunday crash that killed two pedestrians along a bike path in Amherst.
David Smith of Niagara Falls veered veered off of Tonawanda Creek Road into three people on a bike path Sunday afternoon, killing two women. Amherst Police say the 53-year-old was drunk and have charged Smith with criminally negligent homicide.
News 4 has learned that 12 years ago, Smith pleaded guilty to felony DWI for an incident in North Tonawanda. But now, two women are dead and one man is fighting for his life.
Jocelyn Elberson was born with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder which causes developmental disabilities. The 25-year-old had recently undergone heart surgery and was in the process of healing, leaning on her new cockapoo Sadie to lift her spirits.
Her sister, Heather Brothers, said, "She was just so loving and had so much love to give and so much more life to live."
Jocelyn and 81-year-old Sheila Pelton were killed when the motorcycle slammed into them Sunday afternoon. Sheila's husband, 79-year-old Foster Pelton, remains at ECMC in critical condition.
"She didn't have a bad thought in her mind. She just loved everybody, loved things, loved babies, loved animals," said Jocelyn's father, Charles Elberson.
Jocelyn was high functioning, worked at Bonefish Grill, and just six months ago survived heart surgery. Sheila was a marathon runner who survived a battle with cancer when she was in her 70s. News 4 interviewed her 10 years ago when she was a member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Team in Training."
"You have to decide, well is this thing going to get you down and are you going to die? Or are you going to really work hard and survive it? And I decided I was going to survive and not die, and that's what I've done," Sheila said in February of 2002.
Now both women are gone.
Charles said, "I don't have anything against alcohol. I don't have anything against driving a motorcycle, because I have one myself. But you can't put the two of them together."
David Smith is still recovering at ECMC, but will be held without bail when he is released.
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