Pelton was on the Amherst Bike Path Sunday, when her life was cut short by a motorcycle that careened off Tonwanda Creek Road killing her and 25 year old Jocelyn Elberson of Tonawanda Sunday. Foster Pelton, 81, is in Erie County Medical Center.
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The motorcyclist accused of hitting and killing two women on the Amherst Bike Path was arraigned Monday on charges of DWI and criminally negligent homicide.
David Smith of Niagara Falls could face additional charges. Smith pleaded guilty to felony DWI a dozen years-ago in North Tonawanda.
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The motorcycle struck and killed Sheila Pelton, 81, of East Amherst and Jocelyn Elberson, 25, of Tonawanda. Pelton's husband, Foster Pelton, 79, was hospitalized but is expected to survive.
Smith is also recovering, and his injuries aren't considered life-threatening. His arraignment Monday ocurred at his bedside in ECMC.
Some neighbors said afterward that motorcycles often speed down along that stretch of Tonawanda Creek Road. In June, on Tonawanda Creek Road, not too far from the bike path, 55-year-old David Massarro was found thrown from his bike in the early morning hours and later charged with DWI.
While there are no definitive numbers on the number of DWI cycle accidents, there have been several in recent months, some fatal, some not.
The National Highway Safety Administration reports that nationwide motorcycle riders are nearly twice as likely to be driving drunk than passenger car drivers. In 2006, 41 percent of the cyclists that died in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
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With the exception of Sunday's deadly accident, Amherst Police say the bike path has generally been a safe place for walking or riding a bike.
Before Sunday, the only traffic incident in that area in the past few years was a property damage accident, says Police Captain Patrick McKenna, who leads the department's traffic bureau.
"In my mind, in the past, it's been a safe place to walk," McKenna says.
That property-damage accident happened in 2010, so McKenna says it's pretty much been a quiet area.
"At least back as far as 2010, it doesn't appear that that area, where the bike path comes close to the road ... hasn't been an issue," McKenna says.