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POLICE & COURTS

Head-on crash in Evans kills man, injures woman

A Derby man was killed and an Angola woman seriously injured in a head-on crash early today after one vehicle crossed the double-yellow line on Route 5, Town of Evans police reported.

Byron Hallin, 22, was pronounced dead on arrival at Lakeshore Community Hospital following the two-car accident, which occurred at about 1:50 a.m., on Route 5 near Revere Road.

Police said that a westbound 1991 Oldsmobile driven by Ellen Seegar, 47, of Angola crossed the double-yellow line and collided with an eastbound 1996 Chevrolet driven by Jacqueline Dziewa, 20, of Cheektowaga. Hallin was sitting in the front seat of the Dziewa vehicle.

Seegar, after being extricated from her vehicle, was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition late this morning in the Intensive Care Unit.

Detective Ernest Masullo said today that the investigation is continuing.

Dziewa, who called 911 from her cell phone before climbing out of her car, was being treated in the ECMC emergency room for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Firefighters battle blaze at fuel oil storage site

Firefighters this morning still were investigating a Monday night blaze that started at a Chautauqua County fuel storage facility.

The fire at Pro Oil on Route 20 in Sheridan was reported at about 8:10 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Department. A large building was involved. Details on the damage remained incomplete as fire officials continued at the scene today.

There were no reports of evacuations or injuries, the Sheriff's Department said.

Route 20 was closed between the Town of Silver Creek and Sheridan Center because of the fire. It reopened about 11:30 p.m.

Pickup truck in collision flips on top of driver

A driver was thrown from his pickup truck, which then flipped on top of him, after a collision with a delivery truck Monday in the Town of Hamburg, police said.

The accident occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m. at College and Harvard streets, where a delivery truck driven by Richard Matthews, 25, of Woodcrest Drive, West Seneca, collided with a pickup driven by Paul Gavigan, 21, of Princeton Street, Hamburg.

Patrolman Norbert Schnorr reported that Matthews ran a stop sign and collided with the pickup, which was passing through the intersection. Gavigan suffered head injuries when he was thrown from the pickup and it flipped on top of him.

Gavigan remained in serious condition today in Erie County Medical Center, while Matthews was treated in Mercy Hospital for a back injury.

Matthews was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign. Both drivers and a passenger in the delivery truck were ticketed for not wearing seat belts.

The passenger was unhurt.

Man accused of abducting informant to remain jailed

One of two men accused of throwing a police informant into the trunk of a car and threatening a police officer on Moselle Street on Jan. 30 was ordered Monday to remain in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Arrested over the weekend, Jason Miles, 21, of Riley Street, pleaded innocent before State Supreme Court Justice Rose H. Sconiers to kidnapping, firearms, menacing and drug charges lodged last week against him and Antwain Davis by an Erie County grand jury.

Paul S. Piotrowski, chief of the district attorney's narcotics and major case units, said Davis, 18, of Dartmouth Avenue, who also is charged with reckless endangerment, currently is free on bail and has until Friday to hire an attorney.

The two were arrested after a late-night chase through the East Side, moments after they threw the informant into the trunk of their car and pointed a handgun at Town of Tonawanda police Lt. James Carney, prosecutors said.

Carney, pretending to be a drug buyer, was working with the informant, who was an acquaintance of Miles, authorities said.

Fire in Amherst closes fast-food restaurant

No employees or patrons were injured in a grease fire Monday night at a fast-food restaurant in Amherst, fire officials reported.

Main-Transit firefighters were dispatched to Wendy's, 6940 Transit Road, at 6:15 p.m. They found that 14 people had fled the building and the fire was out.

A deep-fat fryer that was being cleaned by an employee was almost empty when the power was switched on. The remaining grease flashed and burned, officials said.

Another employee pulled the manual fire suppression system above the fryers and extinguished the fire; dry chemical powder coated all of the food in the kitchen, officials said.

Fire Chief James C. Lawida determined the fire was accidental. He estimated damage at $1,000 to the structure and $4,000 to the contents.

Collision in Elma results in injuries to four people

Four people suffered minor injuries Monday night in a two-car collision in the Town of Elma, Erie County sheriff's deputies reported.

Deputies said Timothy Cwillinski, 16, of Exchange Street, Alden, was driving east on Clinton Street when he attempted to pass two vehicles in a no-passing zone and collided with a westbound car driven by Sally Szustakowski, 37, of West Seneca.

Cwillinski's car then went out of control, going into a ditch on the south side of the road, where it hit a fire hydrant, two mailboxes and a fence. The accident happened shortly before 6:30 p.m.

Cwillinski and two passengers were taken to Erie County Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released. Szustakowski was treated in Mercy Hospital for minor injuries and also was released.

Both Cwillinski and his front-seat passenger were wearing seat belts, but Szustakowski was not, deputies said.

Nova Scotia judge begins hearing on Shrubsall's fate

A judge in Halifax, Nova Scotia, began a hearing Monday that could lead to the indefinite imprisonment of convicted murderer and sex offender Williams Shrubsall as a dangerous offender.

A Niagara Falls native, Shrubsall, 29, has been jailed in Halifax since late June 1998.

He served time in prison as a juvenile after being convicted of clubbing his mother to death with a baseball bat in 1988, shortly before he was give his high school valedictory address. Halifax court officials said the hearing before Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Felix Cacchione could extend into April.

Shrubsall was convicted last year of attacks on Halifax women in February, May and June of 1998 while pretending to be a medical student and living in a college fraternity house in Halifax.

Ontario truck driver fined $3,500 for smuggling

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. -- A Hamilton truck driver was fined $3,500 Monday for trying to smuggle 40 cases of alcohol across the border, officials with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency said.

Mark A. Howson, 26, was stopped last July 25 at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge by customs inspectors, who found the 40 cases of alcohol in the cab of Howson's truck, officials said.

Howson tried to evade $7,089 in duty and taxes by not declaring the goods, customs officials charged. Howson pleaded guilty in Ontario Court to attempting to smuggle the alcohol across the border and was given six months to pay the fine.

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