TOWN OF EVANS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Friends of a Town of Evans man killed in a hit and run crash rallied to support his family today and to push for the passage of a new law. Somebody hit and killed 52-year-old Barry Moss last December while he was riding his bike. However, no one has been arrested in the case. As a result there are new calls to pass “Alix’s Law” named for teenager Alix Rice. Rice died in 2011 when Dr. James Corisanti hit and killed her. Supporters of “Alix’s Law” say there is a big loophole making it harder to prosecute hit and run cases; a loophole “Alix’s Law” aims to close.
Currently, prosecutors have to prove someone knew they struck a person and left the scene. “Alix’s Law” would make it so that a driver is presumed to know they hit a person. The friends and family of Barry Moss believe if Alix’s Law existed there would have been justice for their loved one. “You can get away with murder if you drink and drive and run away from the scene,” said demonstrator Ruth Lohrding.
Loved ones of Barry Moss gathered this Memorial Day weekend to remember the father and grandfather who was hit and killed last December. Earlier this month, an Erie County grand jury determined there was not enough evidence to prove who is responsible for the hit-and-run accident that killed Moss. “You killed someone because you hit them how could you get away with that?” said one demonstrator.
The group gathered across the street from South Shore Beach Club. The bar’s owner and operator, Gabriele Ballowe was named a person of interest by Evans Police. Police say it was her Ford Explorer that hit Moss. “If I hit a dog or a cat I’d stop. To hit a person and leave them on the side of the road is just terrible so we need to change that in New York for all in our community,” said demonstrator Nancy Engasser.
The State Senate has unanimously passed “Alix’s Law” 3 times, but it has yet to pass the Assembly. “I think the fact that the Assembly doesn’t want to vote on it, I think they need to be changed out. They don’t want to do their job, they don’t want to protect the people, I think they should be replaced,” said demonstrator Albert Adams.
Those close to Moss believe “Alix’s Law” needs to be passed to make sure those who leave a hit and run accident are held responsible. “I think if they would have passed this law before, the family would have a lot more peace themselves and the person responsibly would be in jail or at least in the process of being tried right now instead of running around free,” said Adams.
Former Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak was the lead Assembly sponsor and says it never came to a vote because many downstate lawmakers had issues about the law’s constitutionality, and seemed to oppose new laws in general. With Gabryszak gone, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin says she is willing to be the prime sponsor.