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Plea offer made in fatal Porter crash

LOCKPORT – A plea bargain is on the table for a man charged with causing a fatal crash in Porter by running a stop sign while he was under the influence of marijuana.

Michael A. Buchalski II, 22, of Youngstown-Lockport Road, Wilson, has the opportunity to plead guilty to criminally negligent homicide and driving while impaired by drugs, Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Theodore A. Brenner said Monday in State Supreme Court.

Buchalski is under indictment on charges of second-degree manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter in the death of Michael G. Willimott, 38, of Niagara Falls. Willimott died after his vehicle was T-boned by Buchalski's vehicle at Dickersonville and Youngstown-Wilson roads shortly after 6 p.m. July 22. Buchalski and his two children, ages 8 and 4, also were injured in the wreck.

The trial is scheduled to begin June 26. If Buchalski is convicted as charged, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. The plea deal would limit his prison time to four years.

Defense attorney James J. Faso Jr. said he wants a chance to hire an expert witness to analyze the blood draw that resulted in the drug-related charge against Buchalski. Also, a hearing on the admissibility of the statements Buchalski made to police has been scheduled for May 25.

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