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"My mother wouldn't have judged him like this," son of woman killed in crash asks others to be kind

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 17:10:55-04

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WKBW) — The son of 73-year-old Suzanne Gorbach, who was killed in a car crash on Swann Road in Lewiston on Saturday, is asking others to stop vilifying the driver charged in the accident.

Lewiston Police shared Fitz Gorbach's Facebook comment asking those writing comments saying the driver charge din the crash should rot in hell or worse to stop, saying quote, "This was not one family but two families broken yesterday. This man will have to answer for this, but bear in mind that he is somebody's son, maybe somebody's father, maybe somebody's love, maybe somebody's husband. My mother wouldn't have judged him like this and when you do you dishonor her memory."

"It's refreshing to see somebody with that much love and that much forgiveness in their heart to be able to say something. He didn't have to address that. He didn't have to say anything," Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said, "It's so easy in a situation like that when you're a victim and somebody that you love has been hurt to lash out. It's a natural reaction I think for most people that you have to fight not to do that. For him to intervene instead of joining in and being the root of that it's so refreshing to see. I think it speaks volumes about the type of person she was and that he is."

23-year-old Matthew Sanoian has been charged with vehicular manslaughter in the second degree and DWAI.

Police said he veered into oncoming traffic, striking Gorbach's vehicle head on. He was brought to ECMC via Mercy Flight Saturday.

"From the information we have we believe there may have been a substance or a ingestor involved other than alcohol. That's the reason for the charges. We'll be waiting for conformation of the results of a blood test as well," Chief Previte said.

Police said the cause of the crash is still under investigation. Sanoian remains at ECMC.

Chief Previte said others can learn from Fitz Gorbach's kindness.

"I think we need more of what he demonstrated. I think we need more of that in society. I think we could all do a lot better and we'd all get along a lot better if we understood everybody and had that kind of compassion," Chief Previte said.