A Buffalo man who regularly took a cab home from a tavern died early today when a car driven by a man later charged with drunken driving crashed into the taxi at Franklin and Allen streets, authorities said.
Kenneth R. Gloss, 58, of 17 Allen St., a passenger in the rear seat of a Freedom Cab, died from injuries suffered after the car driven by David B. Paplow sped through a red light at about 1:30 a.m. and hit the cab, police reports said.
Paplow's license had been revoked May 30, 1995, after a driving-while-impaired conviction, according to police.
Paplow, 22, of Roycroft Boulevard, Amherst, was northbound on Franklin at the time of the accident. In addition to driving while intoxicated, he was charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, driving at an imprudent speed and passing a red light.
The taxi driver, identified as Christopher Penke, 40, and Paplow were both treated for minor injuries in Erie County Medical Center, according to Officer Vincent J. Felicetta of the Accident Investigation Unit.
"He is very, very upset. He's an excellent driver," Judy A. Hill, office manager for Freedom Cab, said of Penke. "I spoke with him, and I tried to calm him down."
"Most of our customers at night are from bars, and it is ironic that a drunken driver would hit a cab that is out there trying to stop drunks from driving," Miss Hill said.
Gloss did not have a valid driver's license. It had expired, and he apparently never renewed it.
Gloss followed his normal routine of phoning for a cab from the Underground at 274 Delaware, and today was no exception.
"He called us at 1:10 a.m. asking for a cab to take him to his residence on Allen Street. He never drinks and drives, and from what all our drivers tell me, he was a very soft-spoken, easy-going guy," Miss Hill said.