The West Seneca volunteer firefighter facing an aggravated driving while intoxicated charge in the crash that killed West Seneca Democratic Chairman Daniel S. McParlane will stand trial if prosecutors deny him a plea deal that avoids jail time, his lawyer said Tuesday night.
“We will take this to trial” without such a deal, attorney James M. Vallone, a former Cheektowaga Town Court justice, said following a brief court session before West Seneca Town Justice Jeffrey M. Harrington.
His client, Robert J. Styn Jr., a retired General Motors tool-and-die maker, came to court with a half dozen family members and more than a dozen of his colleagues at West Seneca’s Winchester Volunteer Fire Company.
Styn was charged with aggravated DWI because he registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.21 percent, more than twice the state’s legal limit, after the crash, which happened just after midnight Nov. 27 on Indian Church Road near Mineral Springs Road.
At the request of both sides, the judge scheduled another pretrial session in the case for 9 a.m. Feb. 14.
Vallone said he does not plan to demand pretrial access to toxicology records in the case.
Accident reports obtained by The Buffalo News through a Freedom of Information request revealed that Styn was heading west on Indian Church Road when McParlane, 33, an Erie County sheriff’s deputy, spun into Styn’s lane of traffic. Styn’s car smashed into the passenger side of McParlane’s vehicle.
McParlane, who was not wearing a seat beat, was unconscious and bleeding severely from the head when he was freed from his car.
He was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m. that morning.
Hours before the fatal crash, McParlane had attended a meeting of the Erie County Democratic town chairmen’s association in a Lackawanna bar and then met with Erie County Legislator-elect Patrick B. Burke in a South Buffalo pub.