Buchanan Man Avoids Jail Time, Sentenced in Hit-and-Run Death

Buchanan man and former member of the New York City Fire Department Eric Werner was sentenced Tuesday to five years of probation for leaving the scene of an accident after he struck and killed another village resident in 2018.

According to Westchester District Attorney Miriam Rocah, Werner was traveling southbound at more than 50 miles per hour on Route 9 in Peekskill into Buchanan shortly after midnight on December 29, 2018 when he struck and killed 63-year-old pedestrian Joseph Orichello.

Following the crash, Werner left the scene of the accident and hid his damaged vehicle inside a landscaping trailer owned by his business, Friendly Lawn Care in Peekskill, Rocah stated.

Following an investigation by the Westchester County Police, Werner was arrested on December 30, and pled guilty to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 600, officials said. 

“I am deeply saddened by the death of a county resident due to this defendant’s driving and his subsequent attempt to avoid taking responsibility. I extend my sincere condolences to the victim’s loved ones,” Rocah said. “Every one of us has an obligation to drive safely at all times, and to remain at the scene if we are involved in an accident.”

The case was before Judge Barry E. Warhit, AJSC, in Westchester County Court and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lopez.

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