Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty In New Year's Day Crash

Modified: September 18, 2017 11:20am

9/15/2017

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 31-year-old Abdikadir Jaffar of Utica has pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case to Aggravated Vehicular Assault, the highest charge in the indictment. 

On January 1, 2017 at approximately 1:11 a.m., while having a BAC of .22%, more than twice the legal limit, the defendant was driving recklessly on Richmond Avenue in Buffalo, striking a car being driven by Anthony Hill, causing Hill's passenger 20-year-old Anabellin Cruz of Buffalo to suffer a concussion. 

The defendant is accused of continuing over the curb, striking a pole, snapping it off and then driving onto the sidewalk, striking multiple pedestrians, including:  16-year-old Nathan Kahn of Buffalo who lost his left leg above the knee, 15-year-old Benjamin Weigel of Orchard Park who suffered a concussion, herniated discs and other back issues and 62-year-old Christopher Sheppard who suffered a broken pelvis and two broken legs. 

Jaffar faces a maximum of 3 1/3-10 years in prison when he is sentenced by Judge Case on November 28, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. 

DA Flynn commends the outstanding investigative work of Buffalo Police Department AIU Lt. Thomas Leatherbarrow, Officer Robert Heidinger and Officer Marie Schreckenberger and Amherst Police Officer Robert McMahon. 

Chief Kelley Omel and Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. McCarthy of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case.