BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Canadian man charged with a fatal hit and run in Lancaster took a guilty plea in State Supreme Court Wednesday.
Police say Sebastian Lavertu, 32, hit Depew man in June.
In shackles and an orange jumpsuit Lavertu pleaded guilty to hitting Ryan Johns, 28, with his tractor trailer and leaving the scene.
It was border agents who noticed his truck was damaged and arrested him after he tried to cross the border at Lake Champlain.
Lavertu is charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, a class D felony.
The District Attorney says Lavertu admitted to finding hair in the grill of his truck and also admitted to removing that hair.
But, since that happened across the border in Toronto, there will be no “tampering with evidence” charge in this case.
The accident was caught on surveillance camera which helped Lancaster Police, State Police and Erie County Investigators make this arrest just a week after it happened.
It’s that cooperation between agencies the District Attorney says helps solve these cases.
District Attorney John Flynn said, “We are seeing more and more of these arrests being made, guilty pleas being entered, and that’s good for the families. Mr. Johns unfortunately we don’t know why this happened. Johns was 28 years old, and his life was taken way too early.”
Lavertu does not have a previous criminal record. A class D felony means he could face a 2 to 7 year maximum sentence.
There is one condition of this guilty plea. If, on the next court date on October 18th, Judge John Michalski sentences Lavertu to more than one year in county jail, Lavertu has the right to withdraw his guilty plea and take his case to trial.
Again that court appearance is on October 18th at 9:30AM.