BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The driver involved in a fatal DWI hit and run case will now head to prison. 24-year-old Michael Ettipio was sentenced to 1-3 years behind bars for his first degree vehicular manslaughter guilty plea. Ettipio admitted to being drunk behind the wheel on May 3rd, 2012 when he struck and killed 14-year-old Bryce Buchholz along Lake Road in Lancaster. Prosecutors say Ettipio had been drinking heavily to celebrate a work promotion at a local restaurant and his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit when he struck the teen.
"I'm so very sorry," said Ettipio to Bryce's Family. "I understand if you hate me, but I hope some day you'll have forgiveness."
Bryce's family says in time they will be able to forgive Ettipio, but they will never forget what happened. Thursday during sentencing, Buchholz's friends & family filled the court room wearing orange in honor of Bryce. Orange was the color of his cherished BMX bike. His family is actively fundraising to help construct a BMX and Skate Park in Lancaster. They hope his legacy of laughter, joy, and happiness will live on through others at the park.
If you are interested in donating or would like more information about the family's initiative, visit: http://www.flyhighridefreebryce.com/