TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Following an eight-month investigation into a fatal boating accident, two men have been arrested and arraigned on charges stemming from the accident in June of 2015.
Timothy Wisniewski, 51, and Gregory Green, 18, were arrested over the weekend and were held in the Erie County Holding Center, before they were arraigned on charges from an indictment Monday afternoon.
As the indictment was unsealed, Wisniewski and Green learned they will face charges of criminally negligent homicide and more. Wisniewski additionally faces charges of two counts of operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Green also faces charges of three counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, two counts of operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and endangering the welfare of a child.
Both men were identified last summer as being on a boat with 16-year-old Avery Gardner when Gardner hit her head on a bridge over Ellicott Creek and was killed.
Green was Gardner’s boyfriend, and days after the accident, Green’s mother, told us the older man was driving the boat when Gardner died.
Police say moving forward, they hope to reveal the truth of what happened on the boat to provide conclusive evidence to the family of Gardner.
“We hope that the facts that were uncovered in this case help the family of Avery Gardner in seeking the closure they rightfully deserve,” Captain Joseph Carosi, Town of Tonawanda Police information officer, said.
In court, officials revealed Green, Gardener bought beer and marijuana with Wisniewski before departing on his boat with him. Officials said Wisniewski still was intoxicated from drinking the night before, but drove with a .13 percent blood alcohol level, and with pills and marijuana in his system. Officers also say Green operated the boat under the influence.
Both men were arraigned in State Supreme Court at 2 p.m. Monday.
If found guilty on all charges, Wisniewski faces up to four years behind bars. Green faces up to seven years in state prison.