A Chemung County grand jury has indicted an Elmira Heights woman who was arrested in April after an Elmira bicyclist was struck and killed in a fatal hit-and-run crash near Eldridge Park in Elmira.

The grand jury indicted Sara E. Harnas, 40, of East 11th Street in Elmira Heights, on multiple felony charges – First-Degree Vehicular Manslaughter, Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident Without Reporting, and Aggravated Operation of a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol. In addition, she was indicted on two counts of one misdemeanor charge, Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol.

Sara Harnas

Police said Harnas was driving drunk on Grand Central Avenue between the Clemens Center Parkway Extension and East McCann’s Boulevard in Elmira during the afternoon of April 9 when she struck a bicyclist, Charles G. Rogers, 68, of Elmira. Rogers died a short time later at Arnot Ogden Medical Center.

Police said Harnas drove away from the crash scene without stopping but a witness alerted police and followed Harnas until police stopped her in Elmira Heights.

Charles Rogers

Harnas, who remains in the Chemung County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, was driving a 2006 Ford Fusion that she did not own without a license after her driver’s license had been suspended six times! Her blood-alcohol content shortly after the crash was .22 percent, nearly four times the legal intoxication limit, according to the indictment.

As a local bicycle advocate and a board member on the New York Bicycling Coalition, my heart goes out to the family of Charles G. Rogers and I will work to ensure that this reckless drunk driver is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Thanks for reading,


Jim Reed
Managing Partner
Best Lawyers’ “2015 & 2017 & 2019 Lawyer of the Year”
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
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