Driver accused in crash that killed Penfield teen now facing vehicular manslaughter charge




  • In US
  • 2021-12-06 11:41:07Z
  • By Democrat and Chronicle
 

Updated story, Dec. 6, 2021: Keevin Lewis, 39, of Rochester originally was charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and driving while ability impaired by drugs (marijuana) in an Oct. 30 crash on Chestnut Street that killed pedestrian Matthew Bittner, 16, of Penfield. Lewis appeared in Rochester City Court on those charges on Dec. 3, at which time he also was charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a felony, the Rochester Police Department said in a statement. The vehicular manslaughter charge is related to the allegation that Lewis was operating his vehicle while impaired by marijuana. He was released on his own recognizance and will appear in court at a future date.

***

Original story, Nov. 1, 2021: A Penfield teen struck by a vehicle in downtown Rochester early Saturday morning has died from his injuries.

Matthew Bittner, 16, was struck by a car on Chestnut Street, about a block north of East Broad Street, just after midnight, said Capt. Sam Lucyshyn of the Rochester Police Department.

Bittner was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries and died from those injuries on Sunday, Lucyshyn said.

Bittner was a junior at Penfield High School, according to the Penfield Central School District.

Bittner was walking across Chestnut, from east to west when a northbound car struck the teen while he was in the road, said Capt. Frank Umbrino.

The involved driver, a 39-year-old Rochester man whose name was not released, remained at the scene and cooperated with police, Umbrino said.

The driver, who had a green light at the time of the collision, told police that due to heavy rain failing, he did not see the teen crossing the road until "the last second," Umbrino said. The driver swerved but struck Bittner.

The driver was charged with driving while ability impaired, a violation, and third-degree aggravated operation of a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor. He was issued a ticket and will answer the charges in City Court at a later date.

Police and the Monroe County District Attorney's Office are investigating the crash. Additional charges are possible.

Grief counselors will be available at the high school on Monday and as needed this week.

"Matt will be deeply missed by all who knew him," school district officials said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bittner family at this difficult time."

Contact Victoria Freile at vfreile@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @vfreile and Instagram @vfreile. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Matt Bittner, of Penfield NY, dies after being struck by vehicle

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