Sheriff: Drunk driver involved in fatal Weedsport crash in U.S. illegally

Sheriff: Drunk driver involved in fatal Weedsport crash in U.S. illegally


One of the drivers involved in a fatal Weedsport crash was drunk at the time of the accident and is in the country illegally, according to the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office. 

Heriberto R. Perez-Velasquez, 31, of Savannah, has been charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and failing to use designated lane. 

The charges stem from a crash that occurred at 1:45 p.m. Sunday on Route 31 in the village of Weedsport. Perez-Velasquez was the driver of a 2010 Chevy Cobalt traveling east on Route 31 when he struck a compact tractor in the south shoulder of the road. 

The operator of the tractor, Mark Knapp, 59, of Weedsport, was ejected from the tractor and died at the scene. 

After the crash, the sheriff's office said Perez-Velasquez fled the scene on foot. A citizen assisted deputies to locate Perez-Velasquez, who was found a short distance away from the crash and taken into custody. 

An investigation found Perez-Velasquez is an undocumented immigrant originally from Guatemala, according to the sheriff's office. He was charged Oct. 19 with aggravated DWI in Wayne County, police said. 

Following his arrest in Cayuga County, Perez-Velasquez was arraigned in Weedsport Village Court and committed to Cayuga County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to reappear in court at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15. 

Several agencies assisted with the crash investigation, including the Cayuga County District Attorney's office, New York State Police and the Cayuga County 911 Center. The Port Byron and Weedsport fire departments, along with Jordan Ambulance and Port Byron Ambulance, assisted at the scene. 

The sheriff's office said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible. 

Anyone with information about the crash may contact Detective Lt. Fred Cornelius at (315) 253-6562. Anonymous tips can be left at

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