According to police, the three pedestrians, 81-year-old Sheila Pelton of East Amherst, 25-year-old Jocelyn Elberson of Tonawanda and Pelton’s husband, 79-year-old Foster Pelton, were walking on a bike path last Sunday afternoon, when they were struck by a motorcycle driven by David Smith, 53, of Niagara Falls. Police said in published reports that Smith lost control of his vehicle on a curve and rode onto the bike path. Smith was also injured in the crash as in currently in critical condition in an Amherst hospital.
According to their preliminary investigation, Smith was under the influence of alcohol as he rode last Sunday. Smith is being charged with driving while intoxicated and criminally negligent homicide, both felonies. If convicted he will likely lose his license, pay very hefty fines and possibly face jail time.
In the meantime two people have been killed and a third injured severely all because Smith took it upon himself to get on his bike and ride–drunk.
Drunk driving in a vehicle, any type of vehicle is dangerous. Drunk driving remains a leading cause of traffic fatalities around the world. When a driver is under the influence of alcohol their reaction time is drastically reduced and their judgement is severely impaired. This type of impairment is what often causes drivers to over-react, under-perform or generally commit some driving offense which leads to a crash. In this case the driver not only crashed his bike, but he killed two innocent people who were just out having a Sunday afternoon walk.
When Smith is released from the hospital he will have to face a court hearing to decide his fate. He will also have to face the fact that because he chose to drive his motorcycle under the influence of alcohol two people are now dead.