Tonawanda News

The Town

January 31, 2013

Former Erie County deputy gets 2 to 6 years for DWI crash

Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — A former Erie County sheriff’s deputy, Michael Haug, who critically injured a motorcyclist in August while driving drunk was sentenced Wednesday to two to six years in prison.

“You will carry the weight of this incident for the rest of your life,” Judge Thomas Francyzk told Haug. 

Haug, 29, of Kenmore, pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and DWI charges in November, after he struck David Colosimo at the intersection of Sheridan Drive and Bailey Avenue in Amherst while off-duty. 

Colosimo, 37, of the Town of Tonawanda, suffered serious head and internal injuries, was in a coma in the Erie County Medical Center for five days following the accident and underwent numerous surgeries. Wednesday, he spoke to the judge about his suffering.

“I can’t get out of bed in the morning without aches and pains, I have scars from my head to my toe,” he said. “I ask you to give Mr. Haug the maximum sentence, because next time the person might not be here to talk.”

Although Francyzk said in November he was inclined to cap Haug’s sentence at four years, the judge said Wednesday he was not bound by those comments, adding that he opted for the higher sentence after learning that Haug was previously pulled over for DWI in 2009.

Haug, who resigned from his position in November after 51/2 years on the job, was not charged after the incident four years ago and only attended counseling.

”Instead of being charged, you were shown a professional courtesy,” Francyzk said. “I don’t think that did you any favors.”

Francyzk also said Haug’s role as an officer played a large part in his decision.

”That’s something you are 24 hours a day,” he said. 

Haug, who faced a maximum sentence of seven years, will serve at least two years in state prison. He will then be able to go before the parole board, said Kelly Omel, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case.

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