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Amherst doctor indicted in fatal DWI hit-and-run

By Michael Mroziak & Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-988234.mp3

Buffalo, NY – An Erie County Grand Jury indicted an Amherst doctor accused of striking an 18-year-old woman with his car after a night of drinking, then leaving the scene.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita announced the indictment against 56-year-old Dr. James Corasanti of Amherst. He's accused of striking an 18-year-old girl on Heim Road while driving drunk, then leaving the scene.

Charges against Corasanti include second degree vehicular manslaughter, second degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.

On July 8 of this year, Alexandria Rice was skateboarding on the shoulder of Heim Road when investigators say she was struck by a passing vehicle. Rice later died of her injuries.

Investigators allege Corasanti was the driver and was intoxicated at the time of the incident. They also accuse him of, upon fleeing the scene, removing the victim's blood and body tissue from his vehicle and deleting text messages from his cell phone.

"He wiped or removed blood and or body tissue of Alexandria Rice from his BMW," said Sedita.

But Corsanti's defense attorney Thomas Burton claims the vehicle was never altered or removed from Corsanti's garage once he returned home the night of the accident.

"It was never altered, it was never moved, nothing was done to it to secrete it," said Burton.

Corasanti was arraignment this afternoon. He faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted.