Woman indicted in fatal wrong-way crash
MAYVILLE — A Georgia woman has been indicted by a Chautauqua County grand jury on charges related to a wrong-way, head-on crash on Interstate 86 in July that killed a Cattaraugus County man.
Heather R. Capell pleaded not guilty during arraignment Tuesday, Oct. 19, on charges of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, manslaughter — recklessly causes death, and driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs/alcohol. The indictment, according to a court clerk, was filed Oct. 15.
Capell has remained in Chautauqua County Jail on $50,000 bail since being booked July 8. She is accused of driving east in the westbound lane of the interstate July 1 when she struck a vehicle being operated by Bradley Wakefield around 5 a.m. in the town of North Harmony.
The village of Cattaraugus man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone told The Post-Journal shortly after the crash that it appeared Capell got onto the interstate at the Sherman exchange.
Firefighters from Ashville and Bemus Point, along with Chautauqua County EMS and a coroner, all responded.
“I believe that the biggest contributor to the operator getting on the wrong way was due to her level of impairment,” Quattrone said in July.
Following the crash, the 32-year-old Brunswick, Ga., woman was transported to UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown and later moved to an Erie, Pa., hospital for treatment of serious injuries. She was eventually brought back to Chautauqua County and charged through North Harmony Town Court.
Capell is being represented by the Chautauqua County Public Defender’s Office. A conference is set for Nov. 11.