July 21, 2021-- Eric Werner, a former member of the New York City Fire Department, was sentenced on July 20 to 5 years of probation for leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality after he struck another village resident, left the scene of the accident which resulted in the victim’s death, and hid his damaged vehicle in an effort to hide his conduct.

Werner was traveling at more than 50 miles per hour on Route 9 in Peekskill headed southbound into Buchanan shortly after midnight on Dec. 29, 2018 when he struck and killed 63-year-old pedestrian Joseph Orichello.

Werner failed to stop as required by law and subsequently hid his vehicle inside a landscaping trailer owned by his business, Friendly Lawn Care in Peekskill.

Following an investigation by the Westchester County Police, Werner was arrested on Dec. 30, and pled guilty to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 600.

“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,” said Westchester District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah. “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.”

The case was before Judge Barry E. Warhit, AJSC, in Westchester County Court and was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lopez.


Jess Vecchiarelli, Director of Communications
(914) 995-3586