Judge Finds Tonawanda Man Guilty of Vehicular Manslaughter for Crashing Vehicle into Senior Housing Complex, Killing Resident Inside Her Apartment

Modified: June 27, 2022 10:56am


Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi has found 36-year-old Edward T. Harris of Town of Tonawanda guilty of one count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony). The defendant was acquitted of the murder charge.

Judge Bargnesi rendered his decision this morning following three non-consecutive days of trial that began on April 7, 2022 and concluded on June 21, 2022.

On March 26, 2019, at approximately 7:00 p.m., the defendant was driving a vehicle, while under the influence of cannabis, at a high-rate of speed on Oakridge Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda when he suddenly crossed Delaware Avenue and drove into a parking lot. The defendant’s vehicle hit a parked car before crashing into the Ken-Ton Presbyterian Village apartment building.

The defendant’s vehicle hit the wall of an occupied apartment, causing serious structural damage to the building. The victim, 94-year-old Lida C. Alminate, was in the living room of her apartment at the time of the crash. The victim was subsequently injured after being buried by fallen debris. She was taken to ECMC where she died from her injuries on March 30, 2019.

Harris faces a maximum of 7 years in prison when he is sentenced on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. He remains released on bail set at $50,000 cash, bond or property.

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

The case was prosecuted by Chief Paul J. Glascott of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney John G. Schoemick of the Major Crimes Unit.