CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Dr. James Corasanti, who was convicted of misdemeanor DWI in the crash that killed 18-year-old Alix Rice, was the victim in a crash involving an allegedly intoxicated driver on Thursday.
Cheektowaga Police say Corasanti was a passenger in a smart car being driven by his secretary that was struck around 11 a.m. on Rt. 33 near the I-90 interchange by a 17-year-old female driver. The Williamsville teen was arrested for DWI for reportedly having a .12 percent BAC.
Lawlor Quinlan, the attorney for the Rice family, said, “It is an interesting twist of fate. To me, it’s hard to have sympathy for him, I must confess.”
Corasanti’s secretary was taken to ECMC by ambulance with a head injury. Corasanti was driven to Buffalo General Hospital by a friend on complaints of back pain. Both were later released after receiving treatment.
Richard Sullivan, Corasanti’s lawyer, called the accident “ironic,” saying, “The driver of the car was apparently more injured than he was, and he’s concerned about her, but he’s doing well.”
The 17-year-old driver was uninjured. Her name is being withheld.
The Amherst gastroenterologist was released from jail in April after serving less than eight months for common law DWI in the July 2011 crash that took the life of 18-year-old Alix Rice.
He’s currently being sued by the Rice family, and attorneys for both sides were in court on Thursday hashing out particulars in the civil lawsuit. Corasanti’s lawyer wants several of the claims made in the lawsuit dismissed.
The Rice family contends the doctor was reckless the night Alix was killed and should pay for his actions.
But Sullivan counters, “There was no evidence in this case of erratic driving. It was a tragic accident, nobody disputes that it was an accident. It was an accident, but it’s not a case we believe that warrants punitive damages.”
Quinlan argues the Rice family is standing on solid ground in this case and recalled what happened that night.
“Here we have drinking, speeding, texting, going over the white line, and leaving the scene of the accident. And together, it’s a very strong case for punitive damages.”
Dr. Corasanti was not due in court for these proceedings, which were going on at the same time he was involved in the accident.