Teen charged with manslaughter after crash kills 23-year-old

CATTARAUGUS COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Days after an investigation began into a weekend death on the Cattaraugus County Seneca Nation Territory, a teen faces manslaughter charges.

Police in Cattaraugus County arrested 19-year-old Cyrus Spruce on first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter charges Wednesday, implicating him as the driver of a vehicle that hit and killed 23-year-old Watson Cooper, a Salamanca resident.

Spruce allegedly recklessly sped down Old State Route 17 in the Town of Redhouse in a 2002 Dodge Caravan. The reckless nature of the drive led Spruce to allegedly hit two parked cars and Cooper, who police said stood alongside the first vehicle with which Spruce collided.

An ambulance responded to the scene afterwards to rush Cooper to the Erie County Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

Police say Spruce fled the scene after the crash without stopping to help the victim, but police say they located his vehicle and connected him to the crash.

Spruce faced a judge on Wednesday to be arraigned on charges and has since been committed to jail without bail. He will return to court at a later date.

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