MASSENA - A Massena man has been jailed on $100,000 cash bail on a second-degree vehicular assault charge after striking a pedestrian crossing East Orvis Street shortly before 9 p.m. Friday
Village police said James A. (Alex) Berry, 21, of 36 Park Ave., Massena, struck Edward S. Remington, 46, of East Orvis Street, Massena, at 8:48 p.m. on East Orvis Street near Woodys General Store. The pedestrian suffered serious physical injuries and was transported by Massena Rescue to Massena Memorial Hospital before being shipped to the Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt.
Court documents report Remington of 155 East Orvis St., Apt. 9, suffered multiple skull fractures and internal injuries, bleeding in his cranial cavity and several other fractures.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duve said she had been advised that Mr. Remington died Saturday as a result of his injuries.
Berry was also charged by village police with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. They said a blood sample was taken so his blood alcohol content was not available Saturday.
He was arraigned Saturday morning by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and after consultation with St. Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Andrew T. Botts bail was set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.
Ptl. Cody Wilson, in a statement included in court documents, said Berry admitted he had consumed a LaBatts Blue Light tall boy and two Bud Light Platinums earlier in the evening before going to Taco Bell for dinner with his girlfriend, Aquarra S. Weegar, Chase Mills.
The village patrolman said Berry told him they then went to Sunoco on Main Street before heading down East Orvis Street toward the Parker Avenue intersection.
James stated that he was probably going a little too fast but it was (definitely) not over 32 mph. James stated that he looked up and focused on the light over East Orvis Street at the Parker Avenue intersection and didnt see anything in the roadway, according to Ptl. Wilsons statement.
James stated that all of a sudden he saw an oxygen tank and felt the vehicle hit a person. James states that after he hit the person he saw it was an older man and that the older man hit the pavement hard. James stated that he hit the brakes and pulled over. James then got out of his vehicle and started freaking out until the police arrived, the village patrolman added, noting Berry also told him he would not give or sign a statement about the incident.
Mr. Remingtons girlfriend, Kimberly Tassie, said the couple were returning home after a quick trip to Woodys Store to buy soda when the accident when the accident occurred. She said she was walking ahead of Mr. Remington but turned around moments before the accident.
I turned around and saw a truck come out of nowhere and hit Ed. The truck flung Eds body and then drove over Ed. The vehicle stopped and then drove over Eds stomach again. The vehicle must have been going fast because I didnt even see it coming, Ms. Tassie noted in her statement to police.
She said she had a brief conversation with the driver of the pickup truck and then contacted police. The driver said, I didnt see him. I then yelled at the driver, How could you not see him? You hit him and then backed back over him. The driver then again stated, I didnt see him, she added.
Michael R. Hart told police he was driving on East Orvis Street and witnessed the accident. He said he saw the truck hit a person and then drag the person for 15 to 20 feet.
The driver of the truck then tried to back up and leave the scene. When I realized what the driver was about to do, I pulled over and blocked the truck in so he could not leave. I then jumped out and ran over to help the guy lying in the road. I moved the oxygen tank that was laying in the road out of the way because it was leaking, Mr. Hart said in his statement.
Ms. Weegar told police she had been looking down at her phone and didnt witness the accident but heard her boyfriend shout Oh my God, and looked up just in time to see something fly up. She said when she and Berry exited the truck they saw a man lying in the street. She said a short time later someone told her boyfriend to move his truck and then turn it off so it didnt cause the leaking oxygen tank to explode.
As Alex finished pulling forward, another truck came up to the side of his and the driver got out, Ms. Weegar told police.
She also told police she hadnt seen her boyfriend drinking Friday evening.
I dont remember seeing Alex drink alcohol at any time while we were together. He does take Xanex but only in the morning. Alex has been going to chemical dependency as well as probation every week, she added in her statement to police.
Ptl. Wilsons statement indicated Berry told him he had taken his prescribed anxiety medication at 12:30 p.m. Friday.
Village police had charged Berry with driving while ability impaired by drugs and reckless driving at 8:44 p.m. May 22 after his vehicle was located in the Burger King parking lot in the Harte Haven Shopping Center. Police said they had received several complaints that, starting from Park Avenue at Center Street, that Berrys vehicle was driving on curbs and running red lights as he drove from Center Street to East Hatfield Street. They said Berry fell several times while he was at the police station and his behavior after that incident led them to contact Massena Rescue and have him transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment.
A portion of East Orvis Street was closed for several hours Friday night while village police conducted their investigation. Massena Fire also responded to the accident scene.