A Chautauqua County man has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of a North Tonawanda woman while she riding a motorcycle on Route 20A in Wyoming County.
The July 9 collision also left three other motorcyclists seriously injured, Chautauqua authorities said.
As part of the plea, Joshua D. Huntress, 29, of Mayville, admitted that his actions caused the death of Tomasa Martinez, 66. State Police said Huntress was driving recklessly while high on a combination of illicit drugs when he drove from a motel in Warsaw and headed west Route 20A in an attempt to return to Chautauqua County.
Police said, as Huntress made his way on Route 20A, at least one concerned citizen called in to report that his vehicle was all over the road. While still on the phone, the witness observed Huntress' vehicle cross over into the eastbound lane of Route 20A before hitting two motorcycles. The first motorcycle was carrying Martinez and George McGann. Martinez later died of her injuries at the Wyoming County Community Hospital. The second motorcycle was carrying David and Minerva Stefanski. According to Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Green, all three survivors continue to struggle with recovering from their injuries.
Huntress faces 5-to-15 years or 7 1/2-to-15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 18. Prior to sentencing, the judge must make a determination as to whether a prior felony conviction in Pennsylvania will cause Huntress to be treated as a second felony offender in this case, which would raise the sentence to the 7 1/2 -15 years in prison.
Huntress also pleaded guilty to three charges of second-degree assault as it relates to the three other victims in the collision and faces a sentence of five years in prison and up to five years of post release supervision. All of the sentences will run concurrent with each other as they occurred at the same time, said O'Green.