Man faces up to 7 years in prison after drunk driving crash on "S" curves kills passenger

Posted at 3:42 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 15:46:08-05

An Amherst man has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter after a drunk driving crash killed his passenger over the summer.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Dennis Xenos was drunk when he crashed his car at 3:20 a.m. Friday, July 8 on the "S" curves section of Delaware Avenue.

Officials say Xenos' passenger, Christopher Rizzo, was pronounced dead at Erie County Medical Center shortly after the crash. Another passenger, Veronica Hager, is still at home recovering from her injuries.

Xenos pleaded guilty to second degree vehicular manslaughter and second degree vehicular assault and remains free on $35,000 bail, according to officials. His license has been revoked and he has been ordered to stay away from alcohol and drugs.

Xenos will be sentenced on March 3, 2017 and faces up to 7 years in prison.

"The throuough investigation of the Buffalo Police Department Accident Investigations Unit probably was a factor the defendant considered in deciding to plead guilty," said acting DA Michael Flaherty. "I am grateful he has accepted responsibility for his choices and actions that evening. With the holiday season approaching, we must remind ourselves to be careful and thoughtful when we make the decision to get behind the wheel. There is no such thing as a short, safe distance to drive if you have had too much to drink."