ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with a fatal March crash on West Ridge Road in Parma.
According to prosecutors, James Jacobs, 35, was driving eastbound around 9:45 p.m. on March 22 when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit another car head-on.
The driver of the other vehicle, Stephen Kneeland, 34, was killed instantly. His wife and children were in the car ahead of him, all headed home to Lockport following a swim meet.
Jacobs pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree Tuesday. Prosecutors say a loaded firearm was found in his car after the crash.
“James Jacobs acted in an incredibly selfish manner, disregarding the safety of others, when he chose to drive under the influence of alcohol, resulting in the tragic death of Stephen Kneeland” said Assistant District Attorney Kelly Pettrone.
“Stephen Kneeland died because of James Jacobs’ poor choices,” said District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “Although the defendant accepted guilt and is taking responsibility for his actions, nothing will bring back Stephen Kneeland, a husband and father. Homicides caused by DWI are especially frustrating because these deaths are 100% preventable. It is my hope that the community remembers the family of Stephen Kneeland this holiday season before anyone makes the choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
Jacobs is scheduled to be sentenced on January 24.