Lisa Fischer, the mother of a teenager killed by a hit-and-run driver, pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving while intoxicated during what Niagara County sheriff's deputies called an apparent attempt to run over that driver in his driveway.
Fischer pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge in Wheatfield Town Court. Justice Erin P. DeLabio imposed a $500 fine and a $400 surcharge, revoked Fischer's license for at least six months, and ordered her to undergo counseling, court officials said.
Fischer's 16-year-old son, Ryan Fischer, was struck from behind while walking along Krueger Road in Wheatfield with his girlfriend on the night of Nov. 20, 2014. He was taken off life support the next day.
The driver who struck him, Anthony J. DiFilippo of Michael Drive, Wheatfield, pleaded guilty May 25, 2016, to a felony charge of attempted leaving the scene of a fatality without reporting it. He served a six-month jail term and is currently serving five years of probation.
On the night of March 6, DiFilippo, 42, called 911 to report that Fischer was at his home, repeatedly ringing the doorbell and pounding on the windows of his house.
DiFilippo told deputies he went outside to try to calm the woman, who allegedly had harassed him before. According to a sheriff's report, Fischer "accelerated the vehicle forward in an apparent attempt to strike him."
DiFilippo said he jumped out of the way, and Fischer's 2012 Chevrolet Malibu crashed into his garage door before she drove off.
Fischer, 37, of Ruie Road, North Tonawanda, was arrested later that night on Larry Court in Wheatfield by a deputy who pulled her vehicle. She failed five field sobriety tests. She had "glassy eyes and slurred her speech," the report said.
This was Fischer's second DWI conviction.
DiFilippo was arrested 10 months after the fatal accident, following a painstaking investigation in which his Nissan Murano sport utility vehicle was seized and compared to bits of metal found at the accident scene.
Police concluded that he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but he may have been texting on his phone shortly before the accident.
Fischer has filed a wrongful death suit against DiFilippo, charging him with negligence. The case is pending in State Supreme Court, where Justice Daniel J. Furlong has scheduled a pretrial conference for July 28.
Ryan Fischer may have been walking in the traffic lane because of a deep drainage ditch and narrow shoulder on Krueger Road. The town filled in the ditch and received a state grant to pay for a sidewalk.
Last week the Town Board decided not to build the sidewalk and instead asked the state Department of Transportation to allow the town to use the grant money to help pay for installing wider shoulders on the road. Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said the DOT may consider the change once the town submits detailed plans.