Woman Whose Blood Alcohol Content is Three Times the Legal Limit Pleads Guilty to Killing Hamburg Motorcyclist

Modified: February 26, 2016 10:28am

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Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 36 year-old Jennifer Sage of Columbia Avenue, in the Town of Hamburg, pleaded guilty, as charged, to Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree in Erie County Court.

Sage admitted that on October 10, 2015, at 1:14 P.M., on Route 5 and Amsdell Road in the Town of Hamburg, she drove her vehicle into the back of 47 year-old Christopher Barton as he was sitting on his motorcycle waiting for the light to change.  Sage never applied the brakes on her vehicle and hit Barton at a high rate of speed which resulted in his death.  Hamburg Police immediately suspected alcohol as a cause of the fatal crash and in conjunction with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office secured a search warrant for Sage’s blood after she refused to give a voluntary blood sample.  The Court learned that the Erie County Forensic Toxicology Laboratory determined Sage’s blood alcohol content was .26%, over three times the legal limit.

Flaherty praised the work of Hamburg Police Accident Investigators John Baker and Scott Weyrough.  “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Barton.  We thank the professional and dedicated work of all of the members of the Hamburg Police Department who secured the evidence which brought this case to justice.”

Sage faces a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years in jail when she is sentenced on February 25, 2016.   The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the Erie County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau.