Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that a 26-year-old man has been sentenced for killing a bicyclist in Buffalo. The man, who formerly lived in Cheektowaga, received a sentence of one year in jail today, January 31, 2023, by Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case. Zaire N. Pittman also had his license revoked as part of his sentence.
The deadly incident happened on Friday, May 7, 2021, at approximately 11:30 p.m. Pittman was driving a vehicle, while under the influence of cannabis when he hit a bicyclist. The collision took place on East Ferry Street near Wohlers Avenue in Buffalo. The victim was 54-year-old Carolyn Carter, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Just a couple of months ago, on November 14, 2022, Pittman pleaded guilty to one count of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony) and one count of Driving While Ability Impaired by a Drug (Class “A” misdemeanor). In New York State, according to Driving Laws, in order to be found guilty of Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree,
the prosecutor must convince the jury that the defendant's intoxicated driving or boat operation was a cause of the accident that led to the fatality. It's not enough to merely show the defendant was drunk and someone died—there needs to be a link between the defendant's conduct and the death.
Prosecutors requested that Pittman is sentenced to state prison. The Buffalo Police Department Accident Investigation Unit investigated the accident. Chief Paul J. Glascott and Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case.