3 members of NJ family travelling to Niagara Falls killed by alleged drunk driver who rammed his pickup truck into their SUV
20-year-old Richard Sawicki has since been charged with aggravated vehicular manslaughter, DWI and reckless driving for the deadly collision
Three members of a family from New Jersey, including one 4-year-old girl, were killed and six others were injured after their vehicle was hit by a suspected drunk driver while they were on a road trip to Niagara Falls. 20-year-old Richard Sawicki was arrested following the horrific crash that took place on Sunday, May 26, morning after his pickup truck ploughed into the SUV which was carrying nine passengers in Sheldon, New York.
The Daily News reported that the crash took place at Route 20A and Maxon Road where two women were reportedly thrown from the vehicle in the crash. Sawicki, who is from Lackawanna, has since been charged with aggravated vehicular manslaughter, DWI and reckless driving for the deadly collision. His driver's license was also suspended.
Sawicki was arraigned on a $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on June 20. The SUV had been traveling west on Route 20A when Sawicki, who was going south in his pickup truck on Maxon Road, did not stop at a stop sign and collided with the SUV. The women who were thrown out of the car were pronounced dead at the scene. A 4-year-old girl was rushed to a hospital in Wyoming County.
An adult man, another woman, a 14-year-old, a 10-year-old, and two other 4-year-olds were also taken to the hospital after the crash. The man has since been released from the hospital. The injured woman is being treated at the Erie County Medical Center and the children are being treated at Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.
The authorities will release the identities of the victims after they get notified by family members. Wyoming County Sheriff Gregory Rudolph responded to the scene after reports of a "crash with multiple ejections and injuries". He also said that all nine passengers in the SUV were of a family who was headed to Niagara Falls. Sawicki was also taken to the Erie County Medical Center and was later released.
A slew of first responders arrived at the scene early on Sunday, May 26, morning. Rudolph commended the emergency workers and said: "The response was overwhelming. Anytime a child is involved, and in this case we had five, it pulls at you. It's a tragedy."
According to WKBW, the accident is still under investigation and the sheriff's office has said that further charges are expected to follow.
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