13-year-old killed on bike in Sylvan Beach, man arrested for hit-and-run DWI

Otto Shortell Middle School

State Police are investigating a crash in Sylvan Beach where a 13-year-old on a bike was killed and a man is charged with DWI.

Neil Pedersen was riding his bike home from a friend's house around 8:39 p.m. Wednesday. Police say he was on the shoulder of Vienna Road when he was hit from behind by a truck driven by 53-year-old Gary Svecz of Forest City, Pennsylvania.

Police say Pedersen was thrown off the bike and ended up on a walking trail located on the west side of Vienna Road.

Svecz allegedly left the scene and was pulled over by a volunteer firefighter a short distance from the accident.

Pedersen was taken to Oneida City Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police say Pedersen was not doing anything wrong on shoulder of the road.

"Right now our indications are that he wasnâ??t wearing a helmet. But we have a 13-year-old child that was riding a bike properly, that was struck from behind by a 6,000 pound vehicle. Helmets are a great thing; however it's unclear if it would have made a difference in the result," said New York State Police Captain Mark Lincoln. "The culpability for this accident is clearly on the part of the operator for his alcohol involvement and for his improper lane usage."

According to State Police, Svecz thought he hit something and was turning around to see what it was. It was dusk at the time of the crash but still enough light to be able to see.

Svecz was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and second degree vehicular manslaughter. He was arraigned in the Town of Floyd Court and taken to the Oneida County Jail in lieu of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. He is scheduled to return to the Town of Floyd Court on June 4th.

Pedersen was in seventh grade at Otto Shortell Middle School in Wampsville. The Oneida City School District says they are making counselors available for students and staff Thursday and Friday.