A fatal Thruway accident concerns local anti-drinking and driving group

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Updated: 7/08 10:55 pm

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – A double fatal accident on the Thruway over the holiday weekend has concerned a local group its anti-drinking and driving message isn’t getting through to many drivers.

A serious accident on the Thruway July 4 left two people dead. Police said Tyler Pascuzzi was the driver. The 24-year-old was silent as he walked into Guilderland Town Court to face charges in the death of his two friends Alicia Tamboia, 24, and Cody Veverka, 23.

Police accuse Pascuzzi of being drunk at the time of the crash. Ed Frank is the founder of Choices 301, an anti-drinking and driving organization.

“Selfish. That’s the person who got behind the wheel,” he said. “Selfish.”

Pascuzzi’s attorney Steve Coffey points out the charges against his client have yet to be tried in court.

“Well, that’s the accusation. You have to deal with it,” he said. “We’re in the beginning stages here. This young man is just out of the hospital, and of course, there’s two dead people.”

Frank said these fatal crashes are all too familiar to him.

“As many times as we try to put this message out – don’t drink and drive – people aren’t paying attention,” he said. “All they’re hearing is don’t.”

Frank said despite the abrupt approach his group takes with graphic pictures from fatal drunk driving accidents, the message isn’t getting through to some.

“DWI has come down ‘I’ll plead to this,’” he said. “Their attorneys out there screaming, ‘I’m the DWI guy. I can do this for you.’ It’s a societal problem. Society has to wrap their heads around that it’s a crime to drink and drive.”

Pascuzzi was charged with Felony Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Felony Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree, Felony Manslaughter in the Second Degree, DWI, and Reckless Driving. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and made the $250,000 bail.

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