Defendant Accused of Driving Under the Influence of Narcotics Indicted for Crashing into McKinley Monument, Killing Passenger

Modified: March 30, 2021 8:36am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 40-year-old Paul Tolbert of Buffalo was virtually arraigned this morning before Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi on an indictment charging him with the following offenses:

  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “C” felony)
  • Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony)
  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor)

It is alleged that on Thursday, November 26, 2020, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the defendant, while under the influence of cocaine and fentanyl, drove a minivan at a high-rate of speed southbound on Delaware Avenue and crashed the vehicle into the McKinley Monument in Niagara Square.

His passenger, 34-year-old Angel Marie Cobb of Buffalo, was killed in the crash. The defendant was taken to ECMC to be treated for various injuries.

It is further alleged that during course of the investigation, a small bag containing white powder was found in the defendant’s clothing. The substance was determined to be fentanyl.

Tolbert is scheduled to return on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. He continues to remain held without bail.

If convicted of all charges, Tolbert faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.  

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department Accident Investigation Unit for their work in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Paul Glascott of the DA’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.