Updated 06/21/2012 07:14 PM
Police: Couple Hit by Drunk Driver in North Tonawanda
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NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — "People say it's a car accident, but there's really no accident because you consciously make the decision that you're going to drink, and you consciously make the decision that you're going to drive."
A woman may now lose her leg, after she was out walking her dogs with her boyfriend and was hit by a car.
North Tonawanda police said the couple was strolling along the bike path at the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda Wednesday night when the driver lost control.
"From what I understand, they were struck from behind, didn't see the car coming," said police chief, Randy Szukala.
Forty-seven-year-old Anthony Regalla from Tonawanda was behind the wheel.
Szukala said he and a female passenger left a bar on Oliver Street around 11 p.m. and slammed into a parked car. He said Regalla then sped away towards the canal, where he hit the pair of walkers. His car then plunged into the water.
"It was a bad decision all the way around, and now he's facing a couple felony charges, and some real legal issues," the chief said.
Police said a bystander jumped in to save Regalla and his passenger from the sinking car.
Regalla was then arrested, and charged with two felonies, including DWI, as well as a misdemeanor.
Investigators said both walkers were taken to ECMC, and one of the dogs was killed.
Though the crash could have been a lot worse, investigators say this shows the damaging impact of drinking and driving.
"Now you've got somebody in the hospital who may lose a leg and I guess you can be thankful that she didn't lose her life but she didn't have to be concerned with either that night," said Szukala.
Police said blood work was taken to determine Regalla's blood alcohol content. He was arraigned in court Thursday morning.