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Death of car-hanger a puzzle

Buffalo police have a mystery on their hands. It's not really a "whodunit." It's more of a "whatcausedit."

Eight days after a man was killed when the car he was hanging on to crashed into a tree, Buffalo police still are trying to pin down exactly what happened before the driver sped away with the man clinging to the vehicle.

Police know that the driver is a 44-year-old Medina woman. They don't know why she was in the area at Northland and Cambridge avenues at about 1:20 a.m. April 24.

They know that Lamont "Monty" Holman, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene, on nearby Cambridge Avenue, from massive internal injuries. They don't know why he was hanging onto the car.

"It's still a mystery why she was there and why this man was clinging to the car," Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said Tuesday.

He called for anyone with information about the incident to contact police.

Richards wouldn't say whether any charges are being considered and wouldn't clarify whether any potential charges would relate to illegal activity that might have occurred in the car beforehand or to the driver's actions in speeding from the scene and crashing into the tree.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III refused to comment.

Other sources have said authorities suspect that the man and woman were in her vehicle beforehand, but there are vastly conflicting stories about what they were doing.

Holman's family believes the woman, whom The Buffalo News has not named, may have been involved in the neighborhood's drug trade.

But according to the initial police report, the woman claimed the man was attempting to rob her, as he reached into the car and grabbed the steering wheel.

Police wouldn't comment on those competing claims.

"We know she sped off because she feared for her safety," Richards said. "He was reaching into her car. She actually felt threatened by him. The question is: 'How did this incident occur?' "

Anyone with information may call the Buffalo police confidential tip line at 847-2255, text a tip to (716) 847-2255 or email the department at www.bpdny.org.

email: gwarner@buffnews.com