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Man accused in Lake Ave fatal hit and run pleads not guilty

Kennard was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident Resulting in Death. (Photo: RPD)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHAM) - The man accused of killing a motorcyclist earlier this month and leaving the crash scene pleaded not guilty in court Monday morning.

Police arrested Jason Kennard, 47, on Saturday and charged him with leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death.

On May 10, police said Kennard was driving in the area of Lake Avenue and Denise Road when he crashed into 23-year-old James Garbach on his motorcycle.

Garbach was thrown from his bike and died from his injuries.

“We believe the charges are appropriately charged at this time. It reflects the investigation," said Assistant District Attorney, Alison Camp.

Witnesses also told police Kennard backed up and drove off, after they say he hit the man on the motorcycle. They also say Garbach was traveling well able the speed limit.

Kennard was arraigned Monday morning in Rochester City Court. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Court papers show Kennard borrowed his cousin's car without her permission the night the fatal accident.

Court documents state Kennard was driving his cousin’s car. Kennard reportedly told her he hit a deer, then later admitted to hitting a person on a motorcycle when she said she’d have to file a report for to make an insurance claim. When the cousin told Kennard she would still have to call police, the cousin said he “took off from my home and hadn’t been back since.”

She told police he also begged her not to call authorities, after admitting he hit a guy on a motorcycle because "His license wasn't good."

Kennard's family tells 13WHAM he was scared and distraught after allegedly colliding with Garbach. They also said Kennard is remorseful and "would switch places with the victim if he could."

Judge Stephen Miller set bail at $10,000 cash or $30,000 property bond. Kennard had previously been convicted of felony grand larceny.

Kennard is scheduled to be back in court on May 25 at 10:30 a.m. for a hearing.

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