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Published: January 9, 2014
A Waterford Township man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Erie County Court to killing a pedestrian in a drunken-driving crash on Peach Street in July.
John M. Petersen, 50, pleaded guilty to charges of homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia in the July 3 crash that claimed the life of 27-year-old Bryon A. Long.
The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison and maximum sentence of 11 years, six months in prison.
In exchange for his plea, multiple other charges were withdrawn. President Judge Ernest J. DiSantis Jr. set sentencing for March 24.
The crash that claimed Long’s life happened shortly before 2:30 a.m. July 3. Police said Petersen was speeding and driving drunk when the 1994 Pontiac Transport van he was driving north on Peach Street drifted onto the east berm just south of Kuntz Road and hit Long, who was pushing a cart full of groceries to his home off Kuntz Road.
Police said a test determined that Petersen’s blood-alcohol content was 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Ferrick said the tests also showed marijuana and a prescription antidepressant, Prozac.