Niagara Gazette

September 10, 2013

Teen charged with manslaughter following Sunday's fatal crash in Lewiston

By Rick Pfeiffer
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — A Lewiston teen will now face a manslaughter charge in the death of another teen in a fatal accident Sunday morning. 

Skyler Zephier, 19, has been charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and a host of vehicle and traffic law violations. He was arraigned Monday night in Lewiston Town Court after being released from the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. 

Zephier was taken to ECMC after his arrest, Sunday afternoon, at a home on Mount Hope Road on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation. Investigators were led to the home as part of their investigation of a crash between a car and an SUV that left an 18-year-old teen dead.

The crash occurred at 11:06 a.m. on Upper Mountain Road at Susie's Lane on the Tuscarora Reservation. Officers said they found an SUV, flipped upside down on the southeast corner of Susie's Lane with a person trapped underneath it.

They also found a car in a field just east of the SUV.

Investigators said they determined that the the SUV, driven by Zephier, was traveling south on Susie's Lane, when it failed to yield to the car. As the SUV went into the intersection, it struck the car, driving it into the field.

The force of the crash then flipped the SUV and left Brett McKee, 18, pinned underneath it. McKee, a resident of the Tuscorora Reservation, died as a result of his injuries. 

The driver of the car, a 38-year-old man, was taken to ECMC with non-life threatening injuries.

Witnesses told police they saw a man, "in a gray short shirt, standing in the roadway, covered in blood." The witnesses said the man "got into a car and left the scene."

The man was later identified as Zephier.