Attorney: Teen driver fell asleep before fatal accident

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A teen accused in a deadly hit-and-run returned to court Friday morning, where his defense attorney said the teen had fallen asleep before the tragic accident.

Police say Devin Scagnelli, 18, hit and killed Rickey Mullar as Mullar was out for a walk on Borden Road in Cheektowaga last Sunday. Investigators say Scagnelli and his passenger got out of their vehicle at first, but when an off-duty police officer showed up at the scene, they drove away.

Scagnelli’s defense attorney says his client fell asleep at the wheel and wasn’t driving away, but rather was just trying to turn around.

“He did get out, he was shocked and appalled, because ultimately he did doze off at the wheel, and that’s just the brutal honesty of it. It could have happened to any of us. It wasn’t due to drugs or alcohol, it wasn’t due to anything he was doing criminally. It’s something that’s probably happened to a lot of drivers. It’s a sad tragic accident,” said Michael Blysanda-Mara.

Scagnelli is charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, a B felony. A judge ordered he remain behind bars on $100,000 cash bail or $250,000 bond.

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