Driver Indicted for Crashing Vehicle Into Senior Housing Complex, Killing Resident Inside

Modified: August 1, 2019 8:18am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 33-year-old Edward Harris of Town of Tonawanda has been arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek on an indictment charging him with one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a Class “A-I” felony,” and one count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class “D” felony.

It is alleged that on March 26, 2019, at approximately 7 p.m., the defendant was driving a vehicle at a high-rate of speed on Oakridge Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda when he suddenly crossed Delaware Avenue, drove into a parking lot, hit a parked car, and then crashed into the Ken-Ton Presbyterian Village apartments.

The defendant’s vehicle hit the wall of an occupied apartment, causing serious structural damage to the building. The victim, 94-year-old Lida Alminate, was inside her apartment at the time of the crash and was subsequently hit by debris. She was taken to ECMC where she later died from those injuries.

The defendant was extricated from his vehicle and taken to ECMC to be treated for injuries. Evidence revealed that the defendant was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.

The crash caused approximately $150,000 in damage to the senior housing complex and approximately $30,000 in damage to the contents of the apartment.

Justice set bail at $50,000 cash, bond or property. A return court date has not been scheduled at this time.

If convicted on all charges, Harris faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Town of Tonawanda Police Department detectives for their work in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Paul J. Glascott of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.