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THIRD TEEN HIT BY CAR DIES IN COMA

A Lockport teenager died Sunday of injuries suffered in a traffic accident last month on Niagara Falls Boulevard that took the lives of two of her friends.

Charlene Marie Sewar, 16, died in Erie County Medical Center's intensive-care unit. She had been in a coma, struggling for life, since the night of Jan. 14, when an automobile skidded out of control, striking four teens as they walked on the road.

Her best friend, Amy DiNatale, and DiNatale's boyfriend, Christopher Rogalski, were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were 16 and attended Sweet Home High School.

"She was our baby," said Gerald Sewar, Charlene's father, who had taken a leave from work to keep a vigil at the hospital, appealing on television for prayers and help from the community.

The teens had just left a coffee shop and were walking on the roadway because snow was piled on the sidewalk from recent storms, when a car spun out of control and struck them near the corner of Hennepin Drive in Amherst.

The fourth victim, James McCabe, 17, of Amherst, was seriously injured. The Sweet Home student remained in ECMC until Jan. 23. The same day, Amherst town officials announced that they would begin ticketing property owners who failed to clear snow from their sidewalks.

Jeffrey W. Kramer, 26, of Amherst, the driver of the car, was
charged with driving at an imprudent speed, failing to use due care and having improperly tinted windows on his 1996 Pontiac Formula Firebird.

Kramer has pleaded innocent to the charges. He and his attorney, Joseph M. LaTona, are scheduled to appear in Amherst Town Court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss pretrial issues.

Born in Amherst, Charlene Sewar was a sophomore at Lockport High School. When the family moved from Amherst recently, she had transferred from Williamsville North High School, where she had been a member of the pep squad, cheering the football team on.

She had attended Dodge Elementary School and Casey Middle School.

Sewar said his daughter sometimes attended New Covenant Tabernacle in the Town of Tonawanda, because that was Amy DiNatale's church. Together they attended services or participated in church plays.

She is survived by her parents and two sisters.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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