Lancaster (WBEN) -- Michael Ettipio has pleaded guilty to 1st degree vehicular manslaughter in the May 3 hit-and-run death of teenage bicyclist Bryce Buchholz.
The Erie County District Attorney's office on Thursday announced the guilty plea. The office says it's the highest charge for which the defendant could've been convicted had he gone to trial.
The D.A.'s office says Ettipio had a blood-alcohol (BAC) level of .24 percent -- three times the legal limit -- while driving along Lake Avenue in the town of Lancaster. Ettipio then struck and killed Buchholz, 14, from behind as the teenager rode his bike.
The defendant then fled the scene.
Several people witnessed the fatal crash, the office says. One of the witnesses, Benny Kirkland, followed the defendant to his home, seized Ettipio, brought him back to the crime scene, and surrendered Ettipio to the Lancaster Police.
The defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of five to 15 when years when he's sentenced on September 13 at 9:30 a.m.