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Man involved in crash was out on bail in ongoing cases

Randall J. Rolison

The driver of a sport utility vehicle involved in Saturday’s fatal crash in the town of Arkwright had been out on bail awaiting trial on several charges, including at least two stemming from a New Year’s Eve accident that killed a 15-year-old girl.

On Monday, the New York State Police said its investigation into the multi-vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 83 and Center Road was ongoing. Linda A. Kraemer, 71, of South Dayton was killed in Arkwright while three others were injured.

Randall J. Rolison, a Jamestown resident and driver of a 2020 Chevrolet Trail Blazer involved in the fatal collision, had been set to go to trial on three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Police in January of this year recovered unregistered handguns that allegedly belonged to Rolison inside a storage unit that he rented in the town of Busti.

The trial has been adjourned to a later date.

On Dec. 31, 2021, Rolison was behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer hauling several vehicles when he struck a girl as she crossed West Sixth Street in Jamestown.

The girl, Alexis Catherine Hughan, was pronounced dead at West Sixth and Washington streets.

Rolison, 59, was charged at the time with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving a death and driving while ability impaired by drugs. No trial date on the charges tied to the December 2021 fatal accident in Jamestown has been set.

County Court Judge David Foley, at a January hearing in County Court, set bail for Rolison at $35,000 cash, $70,000 bond for the charges tied to the fatal crash, and $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond for the weapons possession charges. Rolison eventually posted bail and was released from Chautauqua County Jail.

Rolison reportedly remains hospitalized following Saturday’s crash. No charges have been announced.

Jason Schmidt, Chautauqua County district attorney, released a statement Monday, offering condolences to Kraemer’s family. He also noted that he had called for higher bail during the January hearing before Foley.

Specifically, the DA said his office requested bail be set at $500,000 cash, $1 million property bond on all of the charges.

“Unfortunately, County Court Judge Foley disagreed with our position,” said Schmidt, who noted that his office now is seeking the revocation of Rolison’s bail “so that he can be jailed pending trial on the indicted cases.”

The DA added, “We are doing everything within our power to ensure that justice is served and are fully engaged in the investigation into Saturday’s accident and in the process of developing and evaluating the evidence so that I make the right charging decisions going forward. As much as I can without compromising the cases, I will keep the public informed of further developments as they arise.”

Rolison has been represented by Ned Barone, county public defender, on his previous charges.

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