A man from Tuscarora is in custody following a tragic snowmobile accident that claimed the life of his wife. New York law enforcement has charged the man with felony driving while intoxicated as well as several other charges. He is currently in a county jail without bail awaiting a trial date, where he will be represented by a criminal defense attorney.
According to the report filed about the accident, the man was operating a snowmobile on Jan. 25 with his wife as a passenger when the accident occurred. He reportedly failed to yield when he reached State Route 417, causing his snowmobile to be struck by a van in the intersection. Neither the operator of the snowmobile nor his wife were wearing helmets at the time of the impact.
The wife was rushed to a local hospital with critical injuries, where she was later pronounced dead. The husband was also airlifted to another hospital by LifeNet helicopter. The extent of his injuries is unknown, but he was reportedly released from hospital to be arraigned at a town court before being remanded to county jail. He faces charges of aggravated and felony DWI as well as second-degree vehicular manslaughter.
In order to secure a conviction in this case, New York prosecutors will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the man was drunk at the time of the crash that killed his wife. Failure to provide adequate evidence identifying the man's blood alcohol level as above the .08 limit prescribed by New York law could result in the man's criminal defense seeking dismissal of the charges. Alternatively, when the evidence appears formidable, efforts to negotiate a favorable plea agreement may be the best option to pursue.