BATH - A Steuben County Grand Jury indicted Painted Post resident Tonya Smith on multiple charges in conjunction with the death of 66-year-old Bath resident Donald Masti in a car accident on May 3, according to the Steuben County District Attorney’s Office.
Smith, 46, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, a Class C felony, aggravated vehicular homicide, a Class B felony, and first-degree reckless endangerment, a Class D felony.
According to Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, it is alleged that Smith was operating a 2019 Chevrolet SUV at around noon on May 3 when she struck Masti on State Route 415 in the Town of Bath.
“The allegations here are at about 12:20 in the afternoon, on a clear sky day with plenty of visibility, the defendant ran down Mr. Masti when he was crossing the road,” said Baker.
Baker added that Masti was wearing a large green highway reflector vest when he was hit. Masti was pronounced dead at Ira Davenport Hospital shortly after the accident.
It is further alleged that Smith was operating her vehicle with a blood alcohol content in excess of .18 percent at the time of the accident.
Following the accident, Smith was arrested by New York State Police at the scene and charged with driving while intoxicated and second-degree vehicular manslaughter. She was released after posting $25,000 bail in Bath Town Court.
The grand jury has since bumped up those charges. According to Baker, the aggravated vehicular homicide charge encompasses driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, blood alcohol of .18 percent or more, and causing death.
The reckless endangerment charge was added after investigators found evidence that Smith allegedly ran another driver off the road, nearly striking their vehicle, just prior to the fatal accident.
“Those charges were increased by the grand jury, and our investigation produced another driver who was [allegedly] run off the roadway by her in her travels,” said Baker.
If convicted, Baker said Smith could face upwards of 15 years in prison.
Smith is scheduled to appear Nov. 8 in Steuben County Court in front of Judge Philip Roche.
Smith is represented by attorney William Easton of the Rochester law firm Easton Thompson Kasperek Shiffrin, LLP.