WGRZ’s 2 on Your Side news team reports on the ongoing investigation into the accident the caused the death of three-year-old Maksym Sugorovskiy in Delaware Park on May 30. The driver, who caused the accident when his car veered off the Scajaquada Expressway and onto the park’s Ring Road, where Maksym and his mother and sister were walking, has not been charged.
Barry Covert, a noted criminal defense attorney and senior partner at the Buffalo-based law firm Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, was asked by 2 on Your Side to comment on the incident.
Why charges have not be placed yet
Mr. Covert said about the driver, “There is no obvious reason to believe that he was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, otherwise they would have arrested him on the spot.”
Buffalo Police are investigating the driver’s phone records for clues about what happened right before the accident. Police say the driver submitted to sobriety and toxicology tests. The driver told police he fell asleep before the accident.
“They’re probably waiting for the toxicology to come back,” Mr. Covert said about the police investigation. “They’re waiting for the phone records to come back to see if perhaps he was on the phone or texting.”
County requested Amherst’s assistance
2 on Your Side learned that at least one police department outside of Buffalo has been contacted to assist Buffalo Police with the accident investigation, the news team noted. “We’ve learned Amherst Police Department will be assisting BPD with the reconstruction of the accident, and that the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, which is working in conjunction with Buffalo on the investigation, sent the request for assistance to Amherst.”
Mr. Covert noted, “Amherst for decades now has been at the leading edge when it comes to our local police departments at conducting accident reconstructions.” He pointed out the department has “officers trained . . . all the latest equipment [and officers who] know how to utilize that equipment.”
The fact that law enforcement is still getting outside assistance shows that the investigation is in its early stages, 2 on Your Side reported. “A police spokesperson says that police continue to interview witnesses, and by the end of the investigation, up to or more than a dozen witnesses could be questioned about what they saw.”
At the site of the crash, a memorial to Maksym continues to grow. Along the median between the expressway and Ring Road, a path of orange flags shows where a guard rail will be installed to separate drivers from pedestrians. For now, 2 on Your Side says, jersey barriers provide a temporary fix.
About Barry Covert
Mr. Covert, a member of Lipsitz Green’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, represents clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense.