On Friday, Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann and Sheriff David Gould announced that Dain R. Schneider, the driver in the fatal accident on Owasco Road that left an 18-year-old dead on July 27th, was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide — along with two other charges related to the accident.
In addition to the vehicular homicide charge, Schneider is also charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated — a felony, as well as reckless driving. He was originally charged with driving while intoxicated as a felony, based on a previous DWI conviction. He was also charged with operating a vehicle without an interlock device in the first degree.
The new charges allege that Schneider was operating his Avalanche with a blood alcohol content of .23%; that he was operating his vehicle recklessly while driving at a speed in excess of 90 mph heading northbound on East Lake Road, and interfering with the proper use of the highway by others when he crashed into the back of a vehicle being operated by 18-year-old Chloe Calhoun on New York State Route 38A.
Calhoun had just entered the highway and was driving north in the northbound lane when Schneider crashed into the back of her vehicle. According to Budelmann, Schneider was approaching 100 mph at the moment of the crash. The tremendous impact threw Calhoun’s vehicle directly down the northbound lane. The crushed vehicle eventually flipped and came to rest in the roadway.
Budelmann says that due to her vehicle being struck from the rear, she was not protected by the airbags. She died later that evening due to the extent and traumatic nature of her injuries.
According to Budelmann, aggravated vehicular homicide is a Class B felony that carries a sentence range of 1 to 3 years minimally. It carries a maximum sentence of 8.5 to 25 years. The aggravated DWI charge is a Class D felony, and is based upon the defendant having two prior DWI convictions — in 2007 and 2011. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 2.5 to 7 years.
The criminal investigation is still ongoing, according to Sheriff David Gould, and anyone with information can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (315) 253-3545.