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Driver pleads not guilty in Wheatfield double fatal

WHEATFIELD -  A North Tonawanda woman, whose sport utility vehicle struck and killed two pedestrians on Shawnee Road this summer, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in her first appearance in Wheatfield Town Court.

Carly A. Marrs, 20, of Eddy Drive, is charged with reckless driving, imprudent speed and unlawful possession of marijuana in connection with the tragedy that occurred in front of 6680 Shawnee Road shortly after midnight Aug. 20.

Melanie J. Aronow, 18, of Amherst and Quience Harper, 18, of Lockport, both died at the scene. A third pedestrian, Quincy Bird, 20, of Lockport, was injured. All three were walking toward a parked vehicle, one of many parked along both shoulders of the road during a large party at a nearby home. Marrs told Niagara County sheriff's investigators that was on her way home from a friend's house in Wilson when the accident occurred. The victims were walking to the right of Marrs' southbound vehicle. There were no street lights in the vicinity.

Investigators found a pipe allegedly containing marijuana residue in the SUV, but determined Marrs was not impaired by pot or by alcohol.

Defense attorney Anthony J. Lana said Marrs will return to court Nov. 23 for proceedings on discovery motions before Justice John J. Mattio, who released Marrs on her own recognizance. If Marrs is convicted as charged, the maximum penalty is a year in jail.




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