A man accused of drinking and driving more than 60 mph on Porter Avenue early one morning last summer before his car smashed into a tree, killing his three passengers, pleaded guilty Thursday to vehicular manslaughter and other charges.
Frank Redd, 29, of Massachusetts Avenue pleaded guilty in the July 26 crash near D'Youville College that killed his girlfriend, Qualita "Faygo" Stanley, 22, and Robert Hall, 19, and Talica Johnson, 16.
State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma told Redd he will be going to prison for two to six years when he returns to court for sentencing May 10. The judge let him remain free on $5,000 bail.
Redd was driving west on Porter at more than 60 mph at 2:40 a.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve and crashed into the tree near Fargo Avenue, ejecting him and Ms. Stanley from the front seat, according to prosecutor Leonard E. Krawczyk Jr.
The three back-seat passengers, Hall, Ms. Johnson and Tamika Goren, 15, remained in the car as it struck another car at Fargo and Porter. Both cars were destroyed, but no one in the other car was injured.
Redd, who suffered back, neck and shoulder injuries, was treated and released from Erie County Medical Center later that morning, Krawczyk said.
He was driving with a suspended driver's license at the time of the fatal crash, according to the prosecutor.
In entering his guilty plea, Redd admitted he had been drinking in Niagara Falls and smoking marijuana hours before the crash and was just driving around when the crashed occurred.
Krawczyk said Redd pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, the highest charge lodged against him, as well as one count each of vehicular assault and aggravated unlicensed operation of a car.
Redd faces a maximum possible prison term of 2 1/3 to 7 years.
Redd's insurance carriers have settled a $2.5 million lawsuit filed last September on behalf of Ms. Johnson's son who is 11 months old.
Thomas H. Burton, the Buffalo attorney who filed the suit, wouldn't disclose the amount of the settlement that will be paid to Ms. Johnson's mother, Tontaley Tabb, 33, of Virginia Street.