ITHACA, N.Y. — The investigation into the Simeon’s crash has been closed — and no additional charges are expected to be filed against the truck driver, according to Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson.

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Viacheslav Grychanyi, 37, has pleaded guilty to several traffic violations but is not expected to face criminal charges, Wilkinson said.

On June 20, 2014, Grychanyi drove a tractor trailer through Simeon’s restaurant on the Commons, causing a crash that killed a pregnant young mother, sent several others to the hospital and drew hundreds of emergency responders to the area.

Grychanyi paid $1,929 to Ithaca Town Court after pleading guilty to four traffic charges — speeding, having defective brakes, and two counts of having an over-length vehicle. He faces additional civil lawsuits, including one filed recently by the fiancé of the victim.

See related: Fiancé of woman killed in Simeon’s crash sues trucking firms, Ithaca

Grychanyi is not being charged with criminally negligent homicide or reckless endangerment because the evidence didn’t support these charges, Wilkinson said.

“I think people will be upset, and I understand that — but we have to go by the law,” Wilkinson said. “It took a long time to complete the investigation, and that’s always frustrating, but we have to be thorough because we want answers.”

Wilkinson said that law enforcement conducted an exhaustive, lengthy investigation to examine every facet of the crash — and possible criminal charges. “That rig was very thoroughly examined,” she said.

Several weeks ago, a Russian translator working with the Ithaca Voice did reach Grychanyi through a phone call placed to his home in Washington State.

Grychanyi, speaking in Russian, expressed remorse about the incident and acknowledged what had happened. But he declined to be interviewed, saying he had nothing to add about the accident.

Ultimately, Wilkinson said, authorities concluded that Grychanyi hadn’t acted with criminal negligence.

“We did a thorough investigation; we took our time; we have determined that there isn’t criminal liability here,” she said.

“Based on the evidence that we have, he didn’t commit a crime. … He was charged with what we he had to charge him with.”


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.