Not guilty plea for alleged hit-and-run driver in deadly Amherst crash

Peter Sheremeta facing multiple charges in death of William Wanczyk

Peter Sheremeta
Peter Sheremeta is seen here during his May 30, 2017 arraignment at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown.

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – A Belchertown resident who allegedly killed a man in a hit-and-run crash last November, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including motor vehicle homicide and manslaughter while operating under the influence.

Peter Sheremeta, 20, was arraigned at Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown for his alleged role in the November 6 crash in Amherst.

Mary Carey, spokesperson for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, says that Sheremeta was allegedly speeding in his pickup truck when he struck William Wanczyk, 55, of Northampton, who was waiting at the bus shelter at 141 North Pleasant Street in Amherst. Prosecutors say Sheremeta did not stop after the crash, and his truck was found abandoned north of the crash site. Wanczyk died shortly after he was taken to the hospital.

The incident occurred more than six months before the arraignment. Carey told 22News it took that long for Amherst and Massachusetts State Police to investigate the accident. In court on Tuesday, Judge Thomas Estes granted the state a request to impound information on the investigation for ten more days (until June 13th). The Commonwealth was concerned about witnesses and potential presentment to a grand jury for indictment. Judge Estes said that was an extraordinary request, considering the time that had already passed since incident.

Police searching for driver in deadly Amherst crash

In addition to the previously mentioned charges, Sheremeta is also charged with:

    • Operating under the influence
    • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
    • Leaving the scene of a property damage motor vehicle crash
    • Operating to endanger
    • Operating with a suspended driver’s license
    • Use without authority

Sheremeta was held on $100,000 cash bail or $1 million surety.