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Lawsuits filed in skateboarder's death; Suits hold Getzville doctor, country club responsible in crash fatal to Amherst teen

The mother of a teenage skateboarder fatally struck last month by a car in Amherst has filed a lawsuit against the prominent Getzville doctor authorities say was driving the 2010 BMW that hit the teen.

She's also suing Transit Valley Country Club, where investigators believe Dr. James G. Corasanti participated in a "martini golf" event hours before the July 8 crash that killed 18-year-old Alexandria "Alix" Rice.

"Transit Valley has stopped their martini golf, or whatever they call it," said Christopher J. O'Brien, the attorney representing Rice's estate. "That's good for the safety of the community."

The lawsuit in State Supreme Court alleges that Transit Valley provided the doctor alcoholic beverages "while Corasanti was visibly intoxicated."

Corasanti's ability to drive a car was "substantially reduced due to the fact that he was intoxicated," the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit did not specify a dollar amount being sought.

Tammy A. Schueler filed the lawsuit as the person appointed to handle the estate of her deceased daughter.

Officials from the country club, located on Transit Road in East Amherst, did not reply to a request for comment.

On Wednesday, the criminal defense lawyer for Corasanti waived a hearing in Amherst Town Court, allowing evidence against him to be presented directly to a grand jury.

Corasanti has been charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Corasanti did not speak during the brief court hearing before Amherst Town Judge Mark Farrell, nor did he comment afterward outside the court building as he stood behind his lawyer while the lawyer talked to reporters.

Defense attorney Joel L. Daniels called the appearance a "first step in what should be a long process." Daniels added, "We are looking forward to telling our side of the story as soon as this case is tried."

The case has prompted questions and outrage among people who ask how a doctor could leave an injured girl to die.

Corasanti, 55, surrendered to police at a Millersport Highway service station at 12:54 a.m. on July 8, some 91 minutes after the fatal incident.

Daniels said he understood the questioning and outrage but asked the public "not to jump to any conclusions."

"This has had a tough impact on him," Daniels said, responding to reporters' questions. "You can imagine what this incident has done to him and his family."

Michael E. Storck, whose son David, 20, was a friend of Rice, watched the Town Court proceeding.

"I just want justice, and I want the children of the community to be safe," Storck said.

"Wherever he goes, we will be there," Storck said of Corasanti. "We want to make sure his privileged status, his money, doesn't give him a pass."

"A lot of people miss her," said David Storck, a neighbor and classmate of Rice.

It's still hard to think of her death, David Storck said.

Her friends remain shocked, he said.