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POLICE & COURTS

DRIVER IN FATAL ACCIDENT FACES HOMICIDE CHARGE

LOCKPORT -- A man accused of driving drunk when he crossed the center line of Cambria-Lockport Townline Road in July, killing a 20-year-old Alfred State College student, was charged Monday with vehicular homicide.

Thomas J. Jeffree, 48, of Wilson-Burt Road, was arraigned in Niagara County Court before Judge Sara S. Sperrazza. The trial was set for Feb. 7.

Police said Jeffree was driving while intoxicated when his car collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Stephen W. Siuta of Lockport Road, Wheatfield.

The victim's parents, Paul and Aileen Siuta, who run a crop farm in Cambria, and other family members and friends, were in the courtroom wearing T-shirts imprinted with Siuta's photograph. The student also leaves a brother and six sisters.

Niagara County sheriff's deputies who responded to the 10:30 p.m. crash said Siuta's vehicle was engulfed in flames and he was trapped inside. Cambria Fire Company volunteers extinguished the fire. Siuta was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jeffree was taken by Mercy Flight to Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, and treated for leg and arm fractures. He appeared in court Monday using a walker. Jeffree, who is married and has two children, is an auto body repairman.

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