Modified: February 26, 2018 11:55am
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 62-year-old Michael Zaenglein of Elma has been arraigned by Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka on an indictment charging him with Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree and Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs.
On June 30, 2017, the defendant is accused of driving a vehicle on the shoulder of Clinton Road in the Town of Elma where he hit two bicyclists. One bicyclist was in a coma for nearly a month and suffered several serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.
It was determined that the defendant was impaired by morphine and diazepam at the time of the crash.
If convicted on all charges, Zaenglein faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison.
Zaenglein is scheduled to return on Monday, May 7 at 9:30 a.m.
The defendant remains free on $2,500 bail previously posted in Elma Town Court. Judge Pietruszka continued the condition that the defendant cannot operate a motor vehicle and officially suspended the defendant’s license.
Assistant District Attorney Brian D. Langenfeld of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau is prosecuting the case.
DA Flynn commends the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for their thorough investigation.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.