Mayville man pleads guilty in fatal motorcycle crash
WARSAW — A Mayville man is headed to prison after pleading guilty to killing a Wyoming County resident on a motorcycle and injuring three others with his vehicle while under the influence of narcotics.
According to Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen, on Thursday Joshua D. Huntress, 29, waived indictment and pled guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, a class B non-violent felony, on the condition that he is sentenced to an indeterminate term of 5-15 years or 7 1/2 to 15 years in state prison.
O’Geen said the judge must make a determination prior to sentencing on whether the defendant’s prior felony conviction in Pennsylvania will cause the defendant to be treated as a second felony offender in this case thus raising the sentence to the 7 1/2 to 15 years.
As part of the plea, O’Geen said the defendant admitted that he engaged in reckless driving and while committing the crime of second-degree vehicular manslaughter (which includes him admitting that he drove his motor vehicle while his ability was impaired by a combination of drugs), he caused the death of Tomasa Martinez and caused serious physical injury to at least one other person which in this case was George McGann, David Stefanski, and Minerva Stefanski.
Huntress also pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree assault, class D violent felonies, as it relates to the victims of McGann, David Stefanski and Minerva Stefanski on the condition that he is sentenced to a determinate sentence of 5 years plus either 3 years or 5 years of post release supervision.
According to O’Geen, by law all of these sentences must be run concurrent with each other as they occurred at the same time regardless of the fact that there are 4 separate victims.
These charges stem from an incident that occurred around 11 a.m. on July 9, in the town of Orangeville on Route 20A near Boxler’s Farms. On that date, Huntress ingested various controlled substances and then proceeded to drive from a motel in Warsaw westbound on Route 20A, trying to make his way back to Chautauqua County.
As he made his way on Route 20A at least one concerned citizen called to report that his vehicle was all over the road and while still on the phone the defendant crossed over into the eastbound lane of Route 20A hitting two motorcycles.
The first motorcycle was carrying McGann and Martinez. Ms. Martinez would succumb to her injuries at the Wyoming County Community Hospital. The second motorcycle was carrying David and Minerva Stefanski. O’Geen said Mr. and Mrs. Stefanski and Mr. McGann continue to struggle with recovering from their injuries.
“On July 9, 2017 the victims and their families were forever destroyed due to a person who should have never been in Wyoming County, never been in New York and should have never chosen to ingest controlled substances and then get behind the wheel of a car,” said O’Geen. “I want to thank the numerous members of law enforcement, members of the volunteer fire departments, medics, Mercy Flight and the WCCH/ECMC (Wyoming County Community Hospital/Erie County Medical Center) staffs for saving three lives that day. I also want to thank all of those that cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation of this incident. The New York State Police led this investigation as they were first to respond within minutes of the accident and the 911 call and they were able to provide a tremendous amount of resources including investigators, a forensic unit and a crash management unit. They were also assisted by members of the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Department especially with the help from one of their Drug Recognition Experts. I am proud to be part of the great teamwork that exists between all of our public safety partners in Wyoming County.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2018 at 2 p.m. A decision on the second felony offender issue will have been made by the court prior to the sentencing date.
O’Geen said following sentencing he will explain why he believes Huntress should not have been in Wyoming County or New York state during the time of the accident.