Two Drag Racers Sentenced For Fatal Crash

Modified: December 20, 2016 2:38pm

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Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 20-year-old Kody Schroeder of Holland and 18-year-old Mercedes Castillo of Holland have been sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang for a deadly drag racing crash. 

Schroeder received 2 1/3-7 in prison. Castillo received six months in jail, five years probation and the court adjudicated her a Youthful Offender, which means she won’t have a criminal record. 

In October, Schroeder pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Vehicular Assault in the First Degree, while Castillo pleaded guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide and Assault in the Third Degree. 

On April 12, 2016 at approximately 2:10 p.m., Castillo was racing a car on Center Street in Colden, NY alongside a speeding car driven by Schroeder, who was impaired by marihuana. 

Schroeder’s vehicle then crashed into the back of a pickup truck that was turning into the driveway at 8137 Center Street.  The collision resulted in the death of a passenger in Schroeder’s car, 28-year-old Chauncey Kloiber of Wales and the serious physical injury of another passenger in Schroeder’s car, 20-year-old Tabitha Trautwein of Holland.  Ms. Trautwein is recovering at a rehabilitation center. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Kloiber who lost his life at a far too young age, and we wish Ms. Trautwein well as she convalesces,” says acting DA Flaherty. “This should never have happened; now a family is left to grieve the senseless loss of a loved one.” 

Acting DA Flaherty credits the Erie County Sheriff’s Office for their investigative work, including Sergeant Eric Kaderli, Deputy Jeff Ely and Deputy Simon Biegasiewicz. 

Kelley Omel, Chief of DA Flaherty’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case.