Falls woman involved in fatal crash heads to prison

In this April 23, 2020 photo, a vigil stands for Shawntee Saunders, 23, on Walnut Avenue.

LOCKPORT — A Niagara Falls woman is on her way to prison for up to nine years for driving her car, at a high rate of speed, into a home on Walnut Avenue, killing one passenger and severely injuring another. 

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. handed down a sentence of 3 to 9 years in state prison to Hailey Jamieson-Schultz for her guilty plea to a charge of aggravated vehicular assault. Kloch then sentenced Jamieson-Schultz to 2 1/3 to 7 years for her plea to a count or second-degree vehicular manslaughter.

The prison terms will run concurrently. 

Jamieson-Schutz, 20, had originally faced charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, first-degree operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, no seat belt, speeding, unsafe tires and reckless driving.

The crash took the life of Shawntee Saunders, 23, and left Seleste Bomberry, 25, with severe injuries, including a fractured neck.

Falls Police Crash Management Unit investigators described the crash, which took place in the 2000 block of Walnut Avenue, in the early morning hours of April 22, 2020, as "devastating." Even Jamieson-Schultz suffered serious injuries that left her hospitalized.

Falls Police Traffic Division Capt. Angela Munn said at the time that Jamieson-Schultz, Bomberry, who was the front seat passenger, and Saunders, who was in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle, were "thrown around by the impact of the crash."

"It appeared no one was wearing a seat belt in that car," Munn said.

Police said Jamieson-Schultz lost control of her vehicle, which was traveling west on Walnut Avenue at an estimated 70 mph. The vehicle, which investigators said had unsafe tires, jumped a curb and slammed into the side of a two-story brick home.

Blood tests indicated that Jamieson-Schultz was under the influence of both marijuana and cocaine at the time of the crash. 

Kloch called her actions that night "reckless."

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