The driver in the crash that killed a 3-year-old boy and seriously injured his 5-year-old sister along Rt. 198 in Delaware Park may not be facing any charges, but he has lost his driver's license.
A judge has decided to revoke the driver's license, as of December 15th. His license cannot be restored until he submits acceptable documentation to the DMV's Medical Review Unit.
The decision follows a Fatal Accident Hearing that was held last month in Buffalo. A judge heard circumstances surrounding the accident and reserved a decision, which came down on Tuesday.
We are not identifying the driver because he is not being charged with a crime. That decision was announced in August by District Attorney Frank Sedita, who said the driver likely fell asleep at the wheel last May when his vehicle left the roadway and crashed into the park, hitting 3-year-old Maksym and 5-year-old Stephanie Sugorovskiy and their mother.
Maksym was killed, while Stephanie suffered a serious brain injury, though her condition has improved considerably. Their mother suffered minor injuries.
The driver cooperated with police after the accident and video from the scene showed him to be visibly upset about what happened. He also tried to notify authorities himself, but was prevented from doing so when park-goers began beating him, according to the DA.
The DA says the driver signed releases for his medical records, voluntarily submitted to blood testing, and was evaluated by a drug recognition expert. The driver was not found to be impaired in any way and was lawfully operating a vehicle. He also did not fail to disclose required medical conditions to the DMV that would have precluded him from lawfully driving a vehicle.
The DA says the driver will not be facing any criminal charges in relation to the crash, though he may be ticketed by Buffalo Police.
"Horrific consequences as a result of an automobile accident might be the basis for a legal action in a civil courtroom. One cannot, however, be criminally prosecuted in a criminal courtroom unless there is actual proof that a crime - a statutorily defined criminal offense - was committed. There is no such proof in this tragic case and therefore there cannot be a criminal prosecution," Sedita said.
The DA said the driver also did not disobey any traffic control devices, did not weave in-and-out of traffic, did not violate the speed limit and was not driving recklessly. The conclusion he likely fell asleep behind the wheel and lost control of his vehicle was supported by accident reconstruction.
This accident has prompted major changes to Buffalo's Rt. 198, known as the Scajaquada Expressway. Once a 50 mile per hour zone, it was been reduced to 30 miles per hour for the entire length of the road.
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