Truck Driver Pleads Guilty in Fatal Thruway Crash

Modified: February 22, 2018 4:44pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 27-year-old Kristofer Gregorek of Ballston Spa, New York pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the Second Degree before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.

On the morning of June 8, 2017, the defendant was driving a commercial truck that rear-ended a car on the New York State Thruway. The driver of the vehicle, 44-year-old Ellen Volpe of Rochester, was killed. Volpe, an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, was on her way to work at the time of the crash.

According to prosecutors, Gregorek was accessing the Internet via his cell phone and traveling 70 mph when the crash occurred at a construction site near Exit 49 (Depew) on the I-90 in Lancaster.

“This is an awful tragedy where a wife, mother and member of the UB community lost her life due to reckless, distracted driving. My condolences go out to the family of Ellen Volpe, and hopefully by the defendant pleading guilty to the highest charge it provides them a sense of closure.”

Gregorek faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Thursday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m.

DA Flynn commends New York State Police Investigator John McCusker and the NYSP Collision Reconstruction Unit for their thorough investigation.

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