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Blue SUV sought in fatal hit-run

Hamburg detectives, vowing to find the driver of a hit-and-run vehicle that struck and fatally injured a Hilbert College student over the weekend, now believe the SUV being sought is blue, possibly a medium blue.

Detectives interviewed a driver who saw the accident that claimed the life of Meghan Sorbera, 19, a sophomore at Hilbert.

Capt. A. Daniel Shea, chief of detectives, said police believe the hit-and-run vehicle was a 2002 or 2003 Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer, probably a high-end model, either Eddie Bauer or XLT.

Witnesses walking with Sorbera when she was struck told police they thought the vehicle might have been maroon, but police now are citing the other driver's belief that the vehicle may have been blue.

Sorbera, of Burlington Flats, near Cooperstown, had just started walking up South Park Avenue, near the Erie County Fairgrounds, with two friends and fellow Hilbert students, when she was struck at about 1:35 a.m. Saturday. She was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where she died about six hours later.

"We anticipate that we will discover who was operating that vehicle," Shea said Tuesday. "If it has to be done with some fine forensic legwork, that's what we will do. But one way or the other, we will find that person."

Investigators have several pieces of physical evidence from the hit-and-run vehicle, including a black piece of plastic that holds the passenger-side fog light. They also found a headlight cover and a yellow marker light that wraps around the headlight.

While they continue trying to find the vehicle, police also are appealing either to the driver or someone who knows the driver's identity to come forward.

"We would have thought that a person with any sense of decency would have come forward by now," Shea said. "But it's not too late."

Anyone with any information is asked to call Town of Hamburg police at 648-5111.

e-mail: gwarner@buffnews.com

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