Investigation into Fatal ATV Accident

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office has started investigating a Clarence ATV accident. One teen involved in the accident lost her life and the sheriff’s office has said that charges against the other teen involved are possible. Criminal defense attorney Barry Covert spoke to WGRZ about the incident. The full story is available on the WGRZ website and by watching the video below.

Chargeable offenses

Mikaela Gwitt, a 14-year-old girl from Cheektowaga, was killed in an ATV accident that took place on October 21. Mr. Covert told WGRZ that, in order to determine if there are any chargeable offenses in this case, investigators will be looking to see if the teens were engaging in any dangerous practices while driving. “They’ll be looking for whether there were any substances involve—any alcohol, any drugs involved,” he explained. “And, if there weren’t, was there any other type of inherently dangerous activity?”

If there is evidence that the teen who was driving the ATV was using his cell phone at the time of the accident, Mr. Covert told WGRZ that “then there’s the possibility of criminally negligent homicide or reckless endangerment.” He went on to say that “absent those types of inherently problematic behaviors, chances are this is just a horrible tragedy.” If that is the case, then the incident could just result in a traffic ticket.

About Barry N. Covert

Mr. Covert is a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area. He is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; 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. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.