SARDINIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Kevin McCabe’s father said Tuesday night the bond between his son, Kevin, and his 4-year-old grandson, Tristan, was one that couldn’t matched.
But that bond was broken on Oct. 8, and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office says the 32-year-old Kevin McCabe should pay for it.
“This was a very tragic accident and as we know, the life of a 4-year-old boy was lost,” said Chief Scott Joslyn, of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.
Kevin McCabe, of Belfast, on Tuesday appeared in Sardinia Justice Court, where he pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter.
Erie County Sheriff’s deputies said McCabe had narcotics in his system on the afternoon of Oct. 8, when he crashed into the back of a tractor trailer as it was turning right off Route 16.
The crash led to the death of McCabe’s son, 4-year-old Tristan, who was sitting up front with his father and McCabe’s niece.
It also put McCabe in a coma for several days, during which time the investigation into the cause of the crash continued, and a warrant was issued to test McCabe’s blood for narcotics.
“It was that warrant and securing that blood, which allowed us to have it tested and confirm the presence of controlled substance within his system at the time of the accident,” Joslyn said. “It was an illegal controlled substance.”
McCabe, shacked at the waist and in handcuffs, said nothing in Sardinia Justice Court Tuesday night. His attorney said his client didn”t have a previous record, and that he wasn’t a flight risk. The judge set bail at $10,000 cash or $50,000 bond.
“He hasn’t gotten over this. He won’t,” said Kevin McCabe’s father, Thomas. “It was a bond between him and Tristan that can’t be matched.”
Despite their desire for a conviction, and an investigation lasting more than three months, Joslyn said cases like these are difficult for law enforcement and the families alike.
“This is a difficult investigation in that the operator certainly being the father of a young boy adds a dimension that we often don’t see,” he said.
Thomas McCabe said shortly after the hearing he was on his way to bail out his son. And he said the road ahead was going to be a long one.
“It was a tragedy,” he said. “And now, it’s going to be a bigger one.”