Public's help sought in fatal hit-and-run crash investigation

Police and emergency personnel investigate the scene of a hit-and-run crash that took the life of a 26-year-old City of Tonawanda man late Friday night on River Road.

North Tonawanda police are urgently asking for help from the public to find a hit-and-run driver whose fatal crash with a rider on a mini-bike late Friday night led to a second accident on River Road.

The first crash occurred around 11:34 p.m. and North Tonawanda police and firefighters said they responded to a call of a “motorcyclist down in the roadway” on River Road in the area of Gratwick Park. Police said the driver, identified on Monday as Jason Sabin, 23, of the City of Tonawanda, was not wearing a helmet and was operating a “mini-bike that did not meet safety standards to operate on New York state roadways.”

Investigators believe that Sabin was struck by a vehicle as he drove down River Road, causing him to lose control of his bike and crash. While Sabin was lying on the roadway, waiting for the arrival of EMTs and emergency services, he was struck by a second vehicle. 

Police said Sabin died at the scene from his injuries. They also said on Monday that an autopsy, conducted by the Erie County Medical Examiner, determined that Sabin had suffered his fatal injuries prior to being struck by the second vehicle. 

Detectives said the driver of the second vehicle stopped at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. 

North Tonawanda Chief of Detectives, Capt. Daryl Truty, said investigators are now looking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident that caused Sabin to lose control of his bike and crash. Truty said witnesses can contact the accident investigators by calling 692-4312.

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