Prosecutors: Hit and run driver saw injured victim

Posted at 1:11 PM, Nov 26, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-21 13:11:52-05

The woman accused in the hit and run death of 29-year-old Jennifer Martello from Hamburg was back in court, where prosecutors revealed they believe the defendant saw the victim.

Ashley Sawicki, 21, of Hamburg is charged with leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, resulting in a fatality.

Prosecutors say Sawicki had been out drinking with her mother and struck Martello with her car as Martello was walking along Big Tree Road in Hamburg around 12:30 a.m. on July 15, 2014.

Martello died from her injuries. She leaves behind a husband and 14-month-old daughter.

The case went unsolved for months until Hamburg police received a tip leading to Sawicki who gave police statements about the accident.

"The defendant admitted that she struck Jennifer Martello. I don't believe she knew her name at that point, but that she struck a woman. That she stopped her car, got out, saw there was a woman on the ground, saw the woman on the road was not moving, and she got back into her car and she left the scene," said Assistant District Attorney Kelly Omel during the morning bail hearing in Erie County Court.

Sawicki was indicted by an Erie County Grand Jury and prosecutors wanted her held without bail.

"Point of contention between the District Attorney's Office and our position as her defense attorney is that Ashley did fully cooperate when she was approached," said defense attorney Dominic Candino.

Erie County Court Judge Sheila DiTullio set bail at $50,000 and ordered Sawicki to not drive, or she will be placed in jail for the duration of the case..

Judge DiTullio also reprimanded Sawicki's mother and told her she needs to act like "a mother" to make sure her daughter follows the court orders.

Sawicki is scheduled to be back in court for a pre-trial hearing on January 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.