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Tonawanda man sentenced for crash that killed 94-year-old in senior apartment

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Town of Tonawanda man will spend time behind bars for killing an elderly woman after crashing his vehicle into a senior living apartment building while under the influence.

Edward T. Harris, 36, was speeding down Oakridge Avenue on March 26, 2019, around 7 p.m. in Tonawanda, while under the influence of cannabis, according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. That’s when he suddenly veered across Delaware Avenue into a parking lot.

Harris hit a parked vehicle before crashing into the Ken-Ton Presbyterian Village senior apartment building, the DA’s Office said.

94-year-old Lida C. Alminate was sitting in her living room and was buried by fallen debris caused by the crash. She was rushed to Erie County Medical Center and died from her injuries on March 30, 2019.

Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi found Harris guilty of one count of second-degree vehicular manslaughter.

The 36-year-old will serve an indeterminate sentence of two to six years in prison. His license will be suspended for 12 months once he gets out.

Tonawanda man found guilty of vehicular manslaughter of 94-year-old woman

“It has been nearly three and a half years since Lida Alminate tragically lost her life due to this defendant’s reckless decision to drive while under the influence of cannabis,” said Erie County DA John Flynn. “I hope that her family feels that justice has been served by this defendant being convicted of a felony and sentenced to state prison today.”

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Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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