LOCKPORT – Carmen Crapsi admitted Tuesday in Niagara County Court that he left the scene of a fatal crash that killed a 34-year-old South Buffalo woman, Lorelei Walker, on June 29 as she walked along Lewiston Road in the Town of Lewiston.
Crapsi, 23, of Onondaga Street, Lewiston, a Lewiston-Porter High School graduate, was surrounded by family when he went into court Tuesday.
A half-dozen members of Walker’s family were also in court. All were in tears as Crapsi admitted he hit Walker shortly after 5 a.m. June 29 and then left the scene. He turned himself in about six hours later that day to Lewiston police and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.
He could face up to seven years in prison when he returns to court Jan. 29 to be sentenced on a felony charge of leaving the scene of fatal accident. He remains free on $2,500 bail until he is sentenced.
After court, Walker’s mother, Gisela Walker, spoke of the close bond she shared with her daughter: “Shehad always told me, ‘You’re not just my Mom; you’re my best friend.’ ”
Lorelei Walker’s older sister, Karla, said she was a great aunt to Karla’s 4-year-old daughter.
“She’s heartbroken,” Karla said of her daughter. “She wants to know, ‘Why did she have to go to heaven? It’s not fair.’ ”
Lewiston police responded to a 911 call early that Saturday morning and found Walker’s body lying along the side of Lewiston Road, near the Upper Mountain Road overpass.
Family members said Walker had been walking along the road but appeared to have been following all traffic safety rules as a pedestrian.
And though he is not facing additional charges in this case, Walker’s family questioned Crapsi’s past arrests, including two that involved driving while under the influence of marijuana. They said they hope the judge realizes the crash that killed Walker was his third offense in 30 days.
Crapsi had been charged twice in the Town of Sheldon on marijuana charges before June 29. On May 31, he was stopped and cited for having 5 grams of marijuana. Then, on June 1, he was stopped for driving on the wrong side of the road and was caught smoking marijuana and texting. He was charged with driving while under the influence, speeding and texting while driving, and the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office reported finding 26.6 grams of marijuana, as well as scales and marijuana materials.
Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said that all options are open on sentencing and that she would look at all the circumstances.