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Repeat DWAI offender pleads guilty in fatal crash

A Hamburg man who caused a fatal crash just 11 days after being arrested for driving while impaired by drugs pleaded guilty Monday in State Supreme Court to vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault.

Shane Heisler, 31, of Amsdell Road, had just had his license suspended when he drove across three lanes of traffic on Union Road at about 1 p.m. on July 16 and crashed head-on into another vehicle near Town Road.

Ronald Heiss, 65, was driving that car, with his wife, Diane, and Barbara M. Guenther, 71, as his passengers. They were on their way to a wedding.

Guenther, of West Seneca, was riding in the back seat and was the most seriously injured. She died three days later. The Heisses were less seriously hurt and were in court Monday for Heisler’s plea.

Heisler admitted that he was driving without a license while he was impaired by drugs when the crash occurred. At the time he was free, but had lost his license after being arrested July 5, also for driving while he was high.

Heisler, who was remanded without bail, now faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison when he returns before Justice Penny M. Wolfgang on Dec. 13.

Assistant District Attorney Robin J. Deubler is prosecuting the case.

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