Drunk driver ran over his passenger, left her lying in street

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WARSAW, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Warsaw man who was driving drunk when he backed over one of his passengers could spend the next five to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in July.

On August 11 last year, 21-year-old John Traxler was driving drunk with a BAC greater than .18 percent when one of his passengers exited his vehicle to look under the seat for her cell phone. She asked Traxler to wait before backing up, but prosecutors say the Warsaw man responded, “I don’t care,” and began to reverse.

The victim was caught under the vehicle. She suffered serious injuries to her head, legs, and her hip and pelvic regions that authorities say will leave her with lifelong medical complications. Traxler drove away from the scene, leaving her lying in the middle of Oatka Street.

“She has lost almost a year of her life just trying to get back to where she was when this happened. She has weathered this tragedy with great strength and courage,” said Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O’Geen. “It was a miracle that no one died during the events leading up to and including the injuries to the victim in this case.”

Last Thursday, Traxler pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular assault and second degree assault. The plea deal leaves sentencing up to the judge, but Traxler could face between five and 15 years when he is sentenced in July, according to sentencing guidelines.

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