WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY – According to Queenseagle.com, a firefighter was arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of a crash in which a man was killed. Police arrested 44-year-old Eric A. Werner in connection with a hit-and-run that took place.
Werner is accused of striking 63-year-old Joseph Orichello with his 2014 Jeep Cherokee while the victim was walking on Albany Post Road. The victim died from injuries he sustained in the crash. Orichello was found on the roadside.
According to the Westchester County Police Department, Werner fled the scene, but a small fragment of his vehicle was found at the crash site and was linked to his vehicle. According to police, Werner was expecting the police and stated that he knew that they would eventually catch him.
Werner’s bail was set at $25,000. The veteran firefighter is now facing felony charges. If convicted, Werner could be sentenced to a maximum of seven years behind bars.
Werner has been suspended without pay. He works with the FDNY’s Engine 48/Ladder 56, which is located in the Bronx.
While New York City has managed to make its streets safer and reduce the number of traffic fatalities that occur annually in the city, hit-and-run crashes have been on the rise. Only a small percentage of drivers who run from the scene of a crash are ever apprehended. Even when drivers strike and kill pedestrians or cyclists, more than half of these drivers never get arrested or charged for their crimes. Part of the problem is that police departments lack resources necessary to investigate these drivers effectively.
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