Lackawanna man pleads guilty to killing 3, injuring 4 others in crash

Oct 24, 2019

A Lackawanna man, who police say caused a car crash that killed three members of a New Jersey family, has pleaded guilty. 

Richard Sawicki, 21, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and four counts of assault in the second degree on Thursday.  

Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Geen said Sawicki drove his vehicle through a stop sign at the intersection of Maxon Road and Route 20A in Varysburg. Prosecutors say Sawicki was driving 70 mph after a night of drinking and collided with a minivan at about 6:30 a.m. on May 26.  

The van was carrying nine members of a family from New Jersey heading to Niagara Falls. The three killed included a 4-year-old girl.  

Four other people suffered serious injuries, including a girl who prosecutors say will never fully recover. The other two occupants suffered minor injuries.  

Sawicki's sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 6. O'Geen said the judge will have full discretion on sentencing, as no promises have been made to either party as to what the defendant’s sentence will be.  

Aggravated vehicular homicide is a class B felony that carries a maximum sentence of 8 1/3-25 years in state prison, a fine, NYS surcharges and a DNA sample. O'Geen said the Ignition Interlock Device also would be mandatory as a condition of a conditional discharge or probation once Sawicki is released.

The four counts of assault in the second degree each carry a maximum of sentence of 7 years in state prison. All sentences would run concurrently and Sawicki also will be ordered to pay restitution.