Lancaster Police investigating crash that took the life of East Aurora teen


LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB)–Lancaster Police Department is investigating a motor vehicle crash that took the life of an 18-year-old from East Aurora.

According to the department’s Accident Investigation Unit, Maytham Vukelic was riding bicycles with a friend on Pleasantview Drive at 10 p.m. on August 28 when a vehicle hit both teens from behind.

Both teens were taken to ECMC, Vukelic died from his injuries at the hospital.

The second teen suffered serious injuries, according to police.

Officials tell us the vehicle that hit the teens left the scene but located by Lancaster Police a short distance away.

Police arrested driver Kevin Czajka of Lancaster for driving while intoxicated. Additional charges are pending.

Czajka is due to be arraigned in the Town of Lancaster Justice Court on Tuesday, September 15, at 11 a.m.

The Vukelic family released a statement on Wednesday regarding the crash: 

Maytham James Vukelic, age 18, died on August 29, 2020 after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle in Lancaster, NY. He was the adored son of Timothy Vukelic and Shelby Deck and big brother to Decca Vukelic. Maytham was the grandson of Saxon and James Deck and Carole and Gene Vukelic and along with amazing friends around the world, is survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins. Maytham graduated from Aurora Waldorf School, attended The Park School of Buffalo and graduated class of 2020 from East Aurora High School and the Conservation Management Program at Walter Ormsby Educational Center. He was taking a gap year before starting at Paul Smith’s College where he was to pursue his passion to become an arborist and outdoor adventure guide. Maytham was shaped and defined by his love and constant passion for the outdoors. Every summer of his life was spent exploring, canoeing and fishing in Parry Sound, Ontario. Since he was 10, Maytham attended Northwaters/Langskib, a life-defining wilderness canoe program in Temagami, Ontario. A self-taught short film-maker and editor, he co-created and co-produced a YouTube channel, “Weekend 1 Warriors” where he enthusiastically shares his travels around the world, the joy of the perfect fishing spot, being with friends and the beauty of our amazing planet. There were dozens of people who cared for Maytham on the last day of his life. The extraordinary care and efforts from neighbors who ran out to help, the ambulance team and the emergency and medical personnel at ECMC will never be forgotten. Special thank you also to Wes Bonczyk at Walter Howe Funeral Home where arrangements were made. Lancaster Police Chief, William J. Karn, Jr. and the entire Lancaster Police Department receive our heartfelt gratitude for their unwavering determination, skill and exceptional professionalism as they continue to process through this investigation. As our family moves forward, we find peace in Maytham’s passionate love of life. Thank you for honoring our privacy. There will be no further comments. Thank you. 

The Vukelic and Deck Families

Troy Licastro is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of his work here.

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