A Lancaster man who caused a fatal three-vehicle crash in Elma on Dec. 9 pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in State Supreme Court on Wednesday morning.
John Zakrzewski, 31, of Redlein Drive admitted that he was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent when he smashed into two other vehicles at Girdle and Bullis roads at about 10:10 that night. Investigators say Zakrzewski’s car was going about 105 mph when it hit a vehicle turning onto Girdle Road and then smashed into another car head-on.
Guy Van Iderstine, 59, was killed in the collision. He had only recently moved back to Western New York from Indiana.
Van Iderstine was a musician, a father and a brother who used his online profiles to tell his family and friends that he loved them. The day before he died, he had posted on his Facebook page “there are not too many people out there I don’t like.”
Less than two weeks before he was killed by the drunken driver, he posted on the same page a video titled “How to help someone who is drunk.” It shows an intoxicated man struggling to get into his car as another man walks up, takes away his keys and throws them away.
One of Van Iderstine’s best friends was his dog, Monte, which also suffered fatal injuries in the crash.
Members of Van Iderstine’s family were in court Wednesday and they bit their lips as Justice John L. Michalski allowed Zakrzewski to remain free on $35,000 bail until he is sentenced June 14. Zakrzewski faces a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Nash.