A bill introduced in the State Legislature by two Erie County lawmakers to close a loophole in laws central to the case of an Amherst teen killed in a 2011 hit-and-run incident will not become law -- for now.
"Alix's Law," introduced after the death of Alexandria Rice along Heim Road, which resulted in charges against Dr. James Corasanti of Amherst, failed to pass the Assembly this week after receiving Senate approval several days earlier.
Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga, said the bill's recent introduction led to its entanglement in the year-end rush to adjourn and never received enough time for proper consideration. He said he is unaware of any legal or philosophical impediments to its passage and hopes it will be receive further consideration should the Assembly be recalled into session later this year.
If no special session occurs, he said he expects he and Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-Elma, will reintroduce the bill in January.
"It was my biggest disappointment," Gabryszak said of the session that ended Thursday evening.
The bill aimed to hold drunk drivers accountable for leaving the scene of accident without investigating it themselves and reporting it to law enforcement. After Corasanti was convicted of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated earlier this month but acquitted of leaving the scene, Gabryszak and Gallivan introduced "Alix's Law" to close what they view as a legal loophole.
Corasanti maintained throughout a highly publicized trial that he left the scene because he did not realize he had hit a person. After his acquittal on that aspect of the case, Gabryszak and Gallivan sought to require anyone coming in contact with any object to investigate, and report property damage or contact with any person.
Gabryszak conceded legislation "gets a little trickier" when criminal laws are amended and that some concerns must still be addressed. But he said he believes the rush of the session's end was the chief reason for the bill's failure to succeed.
"Everyone wanted to get to the same spot, but we were going about it in different ways," he said.
Gallivan agreed the late introduction of the bill hampered chances of passage.
"It was just introduced last week at the end of session, when legislators are consid