VARYSBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Lackawanna man has been sentenced to seven to 20 years for his role in a crash that killed three people in Wyoming County.
Prosecutors say that after a night of drinking, Richard Sawicki, 21, left a residence on Maxon Rd. and drove his vehicle through a stop sign at 70 MPH.
According to officials, Sawicki stopped drinking about two hours before the crash. Law enforcement officers say he purchased alcohol with a fake ID within the previous hours. Sawicki was still 20 went the crash occurred.
The crash happened around 6:30 a.m. while Sawicki was driving at approximately 60 MPH.
With no signs of braking, Sawicki collided with a minivan that was headed west on Route 20A in Varysburg.
The van, which was en route to Niagara Falls from New Jersey, had nine people inside. Three of them died.
Four other people, including a four-year-old girl, suffered serious injuries. That four-year-old will never fully recover, prosecutors say.
The other two occupants of the vehicle only suffered minor injuries and have since recovered.
Sawicki pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and four counts of assault in October.
On Thursday, he was sentenced to seven to 20 years in prison.
In court, Sawicki addressed the affected family and also apologized to his own family for everything his actions have put them through.
“I wish I could change the outcome of this horrible tragedy, every second of every day since May 26, 2019,” he said to the New Jersey family. “All of you have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be for the rest of my life.”
Aggravated vehicular homicide has a maximum sentence of eight and one-third to 25 years in prison. Each count of second-degree assault has a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Because of state law, Sawicki will concurrently serve time for these crimes.
In addition to time in prison, Sawicki was also sentenced to three years of post-release supervision. He is required to pay more than $21,000 in restitution.