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Driver sentenced to 6 months for leaving injury collision

The driver who struck and injured a pedestrian on Elmwood Avenue last May 8 wasn’t driving recklessly, and he wasn’t drunk or high. He broke only one law: leaving the scene of an injury accident.

If Carl Nye III had stopped after his car struck Adam Brown, Nye would not be spending the next six months in jail.

Brown, 51, suffered a leg injury that has left him using a walker and a serious head injury that has had lingering effects, prosecutor Christopher M. McCarthy told the court Thursday morning.

“That being said, the crime is after the fact. Mr. Nye could have stopped and rendered aid, but instead he chose to drive away,” the assistant district attorney said.

A tip after the collision led police to Nye, 30, of Austin Street and to his damaged vehicle within an hour of the crash, which Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case said was fortunate for Nye.

Case said that, had Nye not been caught so quickly, it would have been assumed that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.

“You were not criminally responsible for inflicting the victim’s horrific injuries,” Case said.

“I am sentencing you for leaving the scene. Stopping and rendering aid and calling for help is not only the legal thing to do, it is the right and humane thing to do. This wasn’t a pothole you hit.”

Although defense attorney Kevin Condon requested that the judge consider probation or weekend jail time so Nye could work and support his three children, Case ordered six months in jail to be followed by five years on probation.

“We are seeing way too much of this (leaving the scene),” Case said. “This happens too often and I don’t know why.”