Tonawanda Man Accused of Driving While Under the Influence of Cannabis Arraigned for Killing Bicyclist

Modified: May 10, 2021 2:15pm

5/10/2021

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 24-year-old Zaire Pittman of Town of Tonawanda was arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Andrew C. LoTempio on one count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony) and one count of Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs (Class “A” misdemeanor). The defendant was arraigned on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

It is alleged that on Friday, May 7, 2021, at approximately 11:30 p.m., the defendant was driving a vehicle, while under the influence of cannabis, when he hit a bicyclist on East Ferry Street near Wohlers Avenue. The victim, a 54-year-old female, died at the scene.

Pittman is scheduled to return on Thursday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m. for a virtual felony hearing. He was remanded without bail.

If convicted of all charges, Pittman faces a maximum of seven years in prison.  

“This defendant is accused of driving while under the influence of marijuana, which resulted in the tragic death of this woman. While it is now legal to smoke or consume cannabis in New York, it remains illegal for a person to drive a vehicle while high. It is my duty as District Attorney to ensure that our roads remain safe. If you are caught driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or any other illicit substance, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

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

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

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