Drunk Driver Arraigned on Felony Charges for Causing Fatal Crash in South Buffalo

Modified: May 28, 2021 2:43pm

Latest News

Redirecting to our new, updated website ...

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 41-year-old Jason P. Washington of Niagara Falls was arraigned this morning before Buffalo City Court Judge Debra Givens on one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “C” felony) and one count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony).

It is alleged that on February 28, 2021, at approximately 1:15 a.m., the defendant was driving at a high-rate of speed southbound on Seneca Street in the City of Buffalo when he crossed the double yellow line into the northbound lane. The defendant, who was driving under the influence of alcohol, is accused of crashing his vehicle head-on into a northbound vehicle near Archer Avenue.

The driver of the northbound vehicle, 57-year-old Thomas Shoemaker of West Seneca, was killed. The defendant and his female passenger were taken to ECMC to be treated for their injuries. 

Washington is scheduled to return on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. Judge Givens set bail at $20,000.

If convicted of all charges, Washington faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.    

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Accident Investigation Unit for their work in the investigation.  

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher McCarthy of the Vehicular Crimes Unit.

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