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Boy Struck and Killed by Car in Lancaster

9:43 PM, May 5, 2012   |    comments
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LANCASTER, NY - Friends gathered in Lancaster Friday night to remember Bryce Buchholz.

Buchholz, of Elma, was struck and killed while riding his bike on Lake Avenue near Sagebush Lane in Lancaster around 8:45 p.m. Thursday.

Classmates at Lancaster Middle School wore orange, Buchholz's favorite color, both in class and at a vigil later on at the accident scene.

Those who knew him say Bryce was funny, outgoing, and friendly to everyone.

Lancaster Police say both the car and bike were traveling south on Lake Avenue.  Buchholz was riding his bike on the east side of the street when the car crossed over and struck the boy. The driver then left the scene.

The Lancaster Volunteer Ambulance Company transported Buchholz to St. Joseph Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A neighbor who witnessed the crash followed the suspect's vehicle, and police later arrested the driver at his home.

Benny Kirkland says he was returning from a trip to Tim Hortons with his family when he saw the crash, and saw the driver take off.

He says he grabbed his keys and followed in his own vehicle. 

"I was just turning corners and I spotted the vehicle," said Kirkland.  "There he was, in the driveway, observing his car."

"The first thing I asked him was, 'Were you in an accident at the corner of Lake and Sagebrush?'  He nodded, 'yeah.'  That's when I grabbed him by the shirt and like I said, in a few choice words, 'lets go.  You're gonna answer up to what you did," said Kirkland.  

He says he brought him back to investigators at the scene.  

The driver is identified as Michael C. Ettipio, 23. He is charged with vehicular manslaughter, DWI, failure to keep right and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. He has no prior record.

According to court documents and the police report, Ettipio was coming home from the Forestview Restaurant on Transit Road and told the officers he had consumed six beers. He allegedly said to the arresting officer: "I was the only one in the car. I thought I hit a tree, so I kept going. It's my fault. I left because I'm an idiot".

Ettipio was arraigned in Lancaster Town Court Friday morning. His bail has been set at $25,000.

Officials at Lancaster Middle School say crisis counselors were on hand, and will still be available next week.

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