Ithaca, N.Y. — The driver in the Simeon’s crash has been ticketed for speeding in the fatal June 2014 accident on the Commons.
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Does that mean truck driver Viacheslav Grychanyi, 37, was going too fast before he lost control of his vehicle coming down East Hill?
Not necessarily, says Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson. Wilkinson said in an interview on Monday that it would be wrong to use the speeding ticket to draw conclusions about what caused the crash.
“What I would say is that it would not be good to make any inferences about the cause of the crash from the ticket,” Wilkinson said.
The ticket, filed in late February, says the following: On June 20, at 4:08 p.m., Grychanyi was going faster than 45 mph.
What’s key here is the location: The ticket doesn’t say that Grychanyi was speeding as he came down the hill. Instead, it specifies that the + 45 mph estimate refers to Grychanyi’s speed at the intersection of State Street and Aurora Street — just before the crash occurred.
“You don’t have to be speeding on purpose to be ticketed for speeding,” Wilkinson says.
“We are not alleging that he was trying to drive the car that fast and then found he couldn’t make the turn.”
Grychanyi had previously been ticketed with having a defective brake, having an over-length vehicle and having an “over-length vehicle combo,” another traffic violation, according to City Court Clerk Ronna Collins.
The June 20 crash killed pregnant young bartender Amanda Bush and sent several others to the hospital. Mayor Svante Myrick called it one of the darkest days in Ithaca’s history.
Here are a few other things we learned in our conversation with the DA:
— The DA didn’t go into detail about why the charges were being filed several months after the crash. But she did say that it’s not uncommon for her office to add or eliminate the charges originally put forward by the police after reviewing evidence and law.
— A state police collision reconstruction unit report on the crash has been completed. Wilkinson declined to comment on whether it would be made public.
— The DA says the next step is finding a judge that will have to be appointed to hear the case.
— What possible repercussions could the charges bring for Grychanyi? “It’s unclear at what the ramifications would be at this time for Grychanyi,” Wilkinson said.
— Wilkinson says she does not think more charges are likely. “I do not believe we are looking at any further charges,” Wilkinson said.