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Former Firefighter From Westchester Sentenced For Fatal Hit-Run

Eric Werner
Eric Werner Photo Credit: Westchester County Police

A former member of the New York City Fire Department will avoid time behind bars after fatally striking a pedestrian in Northern Westchester and fleeing the scene, the DA announced.

Buchanan resident Eric Werner, a former member of the FDNY, was sentenced this week to five years of probation for leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality after he struck another village resident before leaving the scene of the crash, which resulted in the victim’s death.

Werner also attempted to hide his vehicle following the crash in an effort to hide his role in the hit-and-run.

Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah said that Werner was driving more than 50 mph on Route 9 in Peekskill heading toward Buchanan shortly before midnight on Dec. 29, 2018, when he struck and killed 63-year-old Joseph Orichello.

Werner failed to stop, and subsequently hid his vehicle inside a landscaping trailer owned by his Peekskill-based landscaping business “Friendly Lawn Care.”

The investigation into the fatal crash led Westchester County Police to identify Werner as a suspect, and he was arrested on Dec. 30 following the crash.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of a county resident due to this defendant’s driving and his subsequent attempt to avoid taking responsibility. I extend my sincere condolences to the victim’s loved ones,” Rocah said. “Every one of us has an obligation to drive safely at all times, and to remain at the scene if we are involved in an accident.”

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