Jury Returns Guilty Verdict Against Tonawanda Man In Deadly Boating Crash

Modified: November 15, 2016 6:04pm

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DA Falherty announces guilty verdict with ADAs Kelley Omel and Christopher McCarthy

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr announces that a jury has returned a guilty verdict against 51-year-old Timothy Wisniewski of the City of Tonawanda before Erie County Court Judge Sheila A. DiTullio. 

The panel convicted Wisniewski of Criminally Negligent Homicide, two counts of Operating a Vessel While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana stemming from a boat crash on Ellicott Creek in the Town of Tonawanda that claimed the life of 16-year old Avery Gardner of Lockport. 

Wisniewski owned the boat and was riding in it at the time of the crash.  He was remanded to jail without bail and faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge DiTullio on January 17, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. 

In May, 19-year-old Gregory Green, of 7th Avenue, North Tonawanda pleaded guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide and Vehicular Manslaughter for his role in the boat crash. 

Green, who was 17-years-old when the incident took place on June 11, 2015,

was intoxicated with a BAC of .15%, nearly twice the legal limit and was under the influence of marihuana, as he operated the boat at a high rate of speed and in a reckless manner.  As the boat approached and went under a footbridge, Gardner’s head struck the footbridge, causing her death. 

Green will be sentenced December 8, 2016 at 10 a.m. by Judge DiTullio. 

Acting District Attorney Flaherty credited the Town of Tonawanda Police Department for its exhaustive investigation into the case, spending hundreds of hours conducting interviews with assistance from several other agencies, including New York State Police and the Ellicott Creek Fire Department. 

Vehicular Crimes Bureau Chief Kelley Omel and ADA Christopher McCarthy prosecuted the case.