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Warsaw man faces prison for aggravated vehicular assault

A 21-year-old man from Warsaw faces a prison term of up to 22 years when he is sentenced on his guilty plea to aggravated vehicular assault and second-degree assault for dragging a young woman along Oatka Street in the Village of Warsaw and leaving her unassisted at the scene about 4 a.m. on Aug. 11, Wyoming County District Attorney Donald G. O’Geen announced Monday.

John Traxler will be sentenced July 10 by Wyoming County Judge Mark H. Dadd.

Traxler was indicted by a grand jury Oct. 13 for the life-altering injuries suffered by the Warsaw woman, 19, whose name has never been made public.

O’Geen said the woman, who was taken to a Rochester hospital after two Good Samaritans went to her aid, had head, leg, hip and pelvic injuries and will suffer life-long medical complications.

The woman had gotten out of the car to look in the back seat for her cellphone when Traxler began to move the vehicle despite her pleas to stop, O’Geen said. When she recovered, the woman told authorities that just before Traxler backed up his vehicle she heard him say, “I don’t care.” She ended up caught under the car as Traxler drove off until she was left on the street as he drove away.

Quickly arrested, Traxler was found to have a blood-alcohol level that morning of more than 0.18 percent, investigators said.

“It was a miracle that no one died during the events leading up to and including the injuries to the victim in this case,” O’Geen said. “How many times and in how many ways do we have to say it? Don’t drink and drive. This is what could happen when a person drinks, drinks too much and then gets behind the wheel of the car and when it does happen there are consequences to those actions,” he added.

“The victim’s mental and physical trauma will continue to be a lifelong struggle,” O’Geen said. “She has lost almost a year of her life just trying to get back to where she was when this happened and she has weathered this tragedy with great strength and courage,” he added.