BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Five days after a horrific crash which killed three people in the Town of Sheldon, investigators still cannot be sure who was driving the Kia Sedona minivan carrying nine people.
But Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen made it clear Friday morning that he has no plans to charge anyone in the grieving family for the lack of child car seats. “What they need is our support and compassion. This family will have to endure the pain from the loss of three generations of their family for the rest of their lives. There is no punishment greater than that.”
“It’s clear not everyone was wearing a seatbelt and car seats were not found,” said Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph. “We believe six, possibly seven, were ejected from the crash.”
The van was broadsided by a pickup truck which ran a stop sign on Maxon Road and 20A. Richard Sawicki, 20, is charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, DWI, and Reckless Driving. The investigation reveals that he had been at an impromptu bonfire party at a friend of a friend, and the 20 year old had purchased alcohol the night before with a fake out of state drivers license at the 7-11 in Attica, according to Sheriff Rudolph. “It looks like a real ID, so I can’t fault the convenience store clerk at that moment”
For now, Sawicki is charged with the highest possible count for the crash, a B-Felony which carries a maximum possible sentence of eight and a third to 25 years in prison. Other charges may be coming depending upon whether a four year old girl, who is now in critical condition, survives the crash that killed her grandmother, aunt and cousin.
Varysburg Fire Chief Jim Kelly says it’s hard enough these days finding enough volunteer firefighters, and a horrific scene like this is hard to cope with. “With this kind of accident, and just the seen view, it’s something that will stay with you for a long, long time. “We hope we don’t lose anybody because we’re so short now that we’re just trying to keep them mentally with us.”
Sawicki is still held on $100,000 bail at the Wyoming County Jail. He is due back in Warsaw Town Court on June 10 at 5 p.m. Investigators say Sawicki failed a field sobriety test, but they won’t know how much alcohol was in his system until test results come back from a blood sample.
If convicted of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Sawicki could face a maximum sentence of eight and a third to 25 years in prison.