Wyoming County Sheriff Updates Sheldon Crash that Killed Three

Written by on May 31, 2019

Sheriff Gregory Rudolph reports: On May 26, 2019 at 6:32 a.m., the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office 911 Center received calls of a crash with multiple ejections and injuries on Route 20A at Maxon Road in the Town of Sheldon. The initial investigation by Deputies has revealed a seven passenger Kia Sedona with a family of nine from New Jersey were westbound on Route 20A when a southbound Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck on Maxon Road went through the intersection without stopping at the stop sign and struck the Kia Sedona in a “T-Bone” type collision. The Kia Sedona had one adult male, three adult females and five children (ages: 14, 10, 4, 4, 4). Two adult women were ejected and pronounced dead at the scene by Wyoming County Coroner Jennifer Prutsman-Pfeiffer. They have been identified as Ondina Castro De La Cruz- age 47 and Mayelin Brito-Castro- age 32. Kyara Hernandez-Brito, age 4, was taken by Bennington Ambulance to the Wyoming County Community Hospital (WCCH) for head injuries and died at 8: 29 a.m.

Additionally from the Sedona:
1. The adult male, Reyes Rodriguez- age 55, was taken by Warsaw Ambulance to WCCH and was later released.
2. An adult female, Maria Brito-Castro- age 26, was taken by Monroe Ambulance to ECMC for a lacerated liver, broken ribs and broken arm and has been discharged.
3. Mayelin’s son, age 14, was taken by Attica Ambulance to WCCH for lacerations and bruising and later transferred to Oishie Children’s Hospital and has been discharged.
4. Maria’s daughter, age 10, was taken by Varysburg Ambulance to Oishie Children’s Hospital for a facial fractures, lacerations and a broken leg and has been discharged.
5. Maria’s daughter, age 4, was taken by North Java Ambulance to Oishie Children’s Hospital for a head injury and is still in critical condition and in intensive care.
6. Maria’s daughter, age 4, was taken by Mercy EMS to Oishie Children’s Hospital for a broken arm, broken clavicle and lacerations and has been discharged.

Kia Sedona in which three people died and six others injured

We are releasing the injury and conditions with permission of the family, but they have requested us to not release the names of the other children. The family is still in the Buffalo area due to the child in critical condition. They all reside together in the Perth Amboy, NJ area. It is our understanding; they were on their way to Niagara Falls, Canada. They were going to spend the night and then drive back to New Jersey. The family dynamic is as follows: Reyes Rodriguez and Ondina Castro De La Cruz were married and parents to Mayelin Brito-Castro and Maria Brito-Castro. Mayelin Brito-Castro had two children: the involved 14 year old son and Kyara Hernandez-Brito. Maria Brito-Castro is mother to the other three children in the crash, two of which are twins. Not to minimize anyone’s tragic loss in this family, but to put it into perspective, the 14 year old boy lost his little sister, mother and grandmother in this crash and Reyes lost his wife, daughter and granddaughter.

The Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office is still obtaining statements, crash data and details to determine seating positions, but it is clear not everyone was wearing a seat belt and car seats were not found. We believe six, possibly seven were ejected from the car in the crash.

Dodge Ram driven by Richard Sawicki

The driver of the Dodge truck was identified as Richard SAWICKI- age 20 of Lackawanna, NY. He was transported by the Strykersville Ambulance to ECMC and discharged. He was arrested by the Wyoming County Sheriff’s Office for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Driving While Intoxicated and Reckless Driving.

Richard Sawicki

SAWICKI was arraigned in front of Justice Fusani of the Town of Warsaw Court with District Attorney Donald O’Geen present and Michael Stivers of the Public Defender’s Office representing SAWICKI. SAWICKI was remanded to the Wyoming County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash bail or $200,000 bond and his driver’s license was suspended. He is to return to Court on June 10, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

Mr. SAWICKI has not posted bail or bond and is in Jail. Our investigation has lead us to believe SAWICKI was coming from a local bon fire type party from the night before and was on his way to a local convenient store in Sheldon and then home. The homeowners and persons at the party have greatly cooperated and contributed to this investigation. We have obtained evidence SAWICKI purchased his alcohol with an out of state fake ID at a convenient store in Attica the night before the accident. There is no indication of anyone other than SAWICKI committing crimes that lead to this tragedy whether the day of the crash or before. Additionally, most of you have reported SAWICKI’s dad is a police officer with the Lackawanna Police Department. Our investigators had contact with him at ECMC as he was there, off duty, as a Dad with his son and he was present at the public arraignment. He was cooperative and professional with our personnel and at no time interfered with any aspect of this investigation. Our investigation is continuing and will likely take days or weeks. Blood evidence from SAWICKI was obtained and we are awaiting toxicology results. Additional charges against SAWICKI are expected and will likely come after District Attorney Donald O’Geen’s Grand Jury proceedings.

I can tell you this incident has struck a chord in our entire Office and particularly to those who took the call, responded to the scene and have subsequently investigated these horrible events. I would like to offer our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to Reyes, Maria and the children as we all wish you recovery in every way to the unimaginable anguish you have suffered.

Sheriff Gregory J. Rudolph


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