Case of man accused in fatal Lancaster hit-and-run moves to grand jury

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — The case of the Quebec man accused in a fatal hit and run in Lancaster, will now move on to be presented to an Erie County grand jury.

Sebastien Lavertu appeared briefly Tuesday afternoon in the town of Lancaster Court, where he waived his right to a felony hearing.

The 32-year-old Lavertu appeared with shackles at the waist and still wearing prison orange, as he remains in jail on $500,000 bail.

Police and Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Lavertu hit 28-year-old Ryan Johns, of Depew, as he was walking near the intersection of Broadway and Pavement Road.

Police say Lavertu hit Johns with his tractor trailer just before midnight on June 21, and then took off.

He was arrested about a week later as he was trying to cross the border at Lake Champlain, and agents noticed his truck was damaged.

Flynn also says Lavertu removed Johns’ hair from the grill of his truck and burned it to try and conceal the evidence.

As a result, Lavertu is charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a death and tampering with evidence.

“The case was basically transferred from the town of Lancaster Court to the grand jury bureau of the district attorney’s office for further evaluation and investigation, and the next court appearance will be in either county or supreme court,” said Joseph Marusak, Lavertu’s attorney. “We’re beginning our investigation, so there’s a lot of work to be done in order to evaluate what simply the evidence is. So we’re beginning that process now.”

The judge maintained Lavertu’s bond, and he’ll remain in jail until his next court appearance, which would happen after the case is heard by the grand jury, likely be sometime in the coming weeks. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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