58-year-old Dr. James G. Corasanti, who was convicted of drunken driving in an accident that killed an Amherst teenager last year, landed in the hospital Thursday after his car was hit by a 17-year-old Amherst girl who was driving drunk.
According to police reports, Corasanti and his secretary were travelling in a 2012 Smart Car when they were struck by a vehicle. His secretary was driving at the time who suffered a head injury that required stitches, whereas Corasanti suffered a minor back injury. The driver who rear-ended their vehicle was identified as a 17-year-old Amherst girl. She was arrested for drunk driving.
Jodi Clark, the secretary, was taken to Erie County Medical Center in an ambulance where she was treated for her head injury. She was later released. Corasanti, who was complaining of back injury after the crash, was taken to Buffalo General Medical Center by a friend. He was also released later.
The incident happened at about 11:15 a.m. when Dr. Corasanti and his secretary were travelling on the eastbound Kensington Expressway at the Thruway interchange in Cheektowaga. The teenager did not sustain any injuries. Her BAC level was recorded at 0.12, more than the legal limit of 0.08, but her name was not released. She was charged with reckless driving, unsafe lane change, passing on the right, imprudent speed and was issued appearance tickets and released into the custody of her mother. She may qualify for youthful-offender status.
In July 2011, Corasanti was involved in an accident that killed 18-year-old Alexandria “Alix” Rice. Corasanti, who is a gastroenterologist, was driving his BMW late at night on Heim Road in Getzville when he struck her. Alix was on her way home from her night job at a pizzeria. Corasanti was sent to jail for the DWI conviction but he was found not guilty for some of the other more serious charges, including manslaughter. He was sentenced to one year imprisonment, but was released from custody after eight months, serving two-thirds of his sentence. After his release, he resumed his medical practice in April.
The latest incident has stirred outrage among many in the community. Lawlor Quinlan, Aliz Rice’s family attorney, commented on the irony of the event. “It is an interesting twist of fate. To me, it’s hard to have sympathy for him, I must confess,” he said. People were not happy when the jury acquitted Dr. Corasanti of the felony charges. It was also found out that two of the jurors in his trial were charged with drunken driving, one of them was charged during the trial, whereas the other one was charged this past April.
Corasanti is currently being sued by Rice’s family, who claims he was being reckless on the night he hit and killed their teenage daughter. However, Corasanti’s lawyer disagrees. “There was no evidence in this case of erratic driving. It was a tragic accident, nobody disputes that it was an accident. It’s an accident, but it’s not a case we believe that warrants punitive damages,” he said.
Since first posting this story, Corasanti has since reached a settlement with Rice’s family. Although details on the settlement are to remain confidential, click here for the families reaction.
Attorney Jeanne Morales is an experienced Attorney who represents people for bankruptcy, SSD and Immigration cases in Texas.
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