Share this article

print logo


Forestville man killed as motorcycle hits guardrail

SHERIDAN -- A 38-year-old Forestville man was killed late Monday after his motorcycle struck a guardrail on Route 5, state police at Fredonia reported.

Michael A. Case was found down an embankment and pronounced dead at the scene after the crash, which occurred shortly after 10 p.m., troopers said.

Case was heading east at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his vehicle, which struck the guardrail on the south shoulder of the road, according to police reports.


One killed in collision of van, tractor-trailer

SHERIDAN -- One person was killed when a handicapped-accessible van and tractor-trailer collided on Route 20 and South Roberts Road at about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office said Route 20 was closed for about three hours after the crash.

More information was unavailable. The investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing.


Man, 49, pleads guilty to killing his ex-boss

A South Buffalo man pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his former boss.

Jonathan Lewicki, 49, of South Park Avenue, admitted to State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns that he stabbed and killed Conrad E. Pinker, 79, on July 10, 2011, in the victim's West Seneca home.

Pinker was the longtime owner of the Garden Spot nursery at Harlem Road and William Street in Cheektowaga.

Lewicki, whose criminal background includes drug offenses, burglary, larceny and criminal possession of stolen property, had been fired from a job at the nursery in the weeks prior to the homicide, according to West Seneca police.

Shortly after the murder, police were able to trace Pinker's stolen van to South Buffalo, near the suspect's home on South Park.

Pinker was a widower and had been living alone at the time of his death. His granddaughter found his body on the floor of his Laurelton Drive home.

Lewicki will face 18 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced by Burns on June 12.


Assault victim Casal is released from ECMC

TOWN OF NIAGARA -- Niagara Falls boxer and junior welterweight contender Nick Casal, who was beaten unconscious Saturday night, was released from Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, on Monday night with hundreds of staples and stitches in his head.

Town police are "negotiating" with relatives to bring a person of interest in the case into the police station for questioning, Police Chief H. James Suitor said Tuesday.

Casal was ambushed and severely beaten with some type of a metal weapon at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday in the Belden Center area of the town when he stopped to pick up his new girlfriend. Suitor said witnesses are unclear on the type of metal weapon, which he said has been described as a golf club, or a rake, among other things.

"We honestly don't know," Suitor said of the weapon. "The witnesses were unable to assist us with describing this."

Casal's assailant is 6 1/2 feet tall and about 300 pounds, had apparently waited in a garage for the 145-pound Casal and administering a sneak attack, according to Casal's father, Ray. He said his son didn't know he was picking up his girlfriend at her former boyfriend's house.

"The guy had some serious injuries," Suitor said. "I am surprised it wasn't more serious."


Woman, 27, hospitalized after collision in fog

CARROLL -- A Town of Kennedy woman was treated in WCA Hospital, Jamestown, for abdominal injuries after she crashed in heavy fog at Route 62 and Ivory Road at about 6:35 a.m. Tuesday, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office reported.

Crystal Russell, 27, suffered minor injuries when the vehicle in front of her traveling south on Route 62 abruptly slowed near the intersection in the heavy fog. Russell swerved right, drove straight through the intersection and struck a guardrail, deputies said.

Deputies said the poor visibility caused her to fail to see the other car's flashing lights and the stop sign. Crews from the Frewsburg Fire Company and the Kiantone Fire Company assisted at the scene.


Driver charged in hit-run killing boy waives hearing

The Lancaster man accused of driving drunk in a May 3 hit-and-run crash that killed a 14-year-old bicyclist waived his right to a felony hearing Tuesday in Lancaster Town Court.

The case against Michael C. Ettipio, 23, next would be sent to an Erie County grand jury, which would decide whether to indict him in the death of Bryce W. Buchholz, a Lancaster Middle School student from Elma.

Police charged Ettipio with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving while intoxicated and failure to keep right. District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said the case won't be presented to a grand jury until the accident investigation is finished.