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Newfane man draws three-year term for leaving scene of fatal accident

A Newfane man will serve one to three years in prison for leaving the scene of a fatal truck-bicycle accident, Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III decided Friday.

Thomas W. Jordan, 48, of McClew Road, had pleaded guilty April 28 to reduced charges of attempted leaving the scene of a fatal accident and driving while impaired. He told a sheriff's deputy he thought he had struck a mailbox.

Jordan originally was charged with manslaughter in connection with the Aug. 4, 2008, accident on Shawnee Road in Wheatfield.

Sheriff's reports said Jordan's pickup veered onto the shoulder of the road about 6:42 p.m. and struck a bicyclist from behind. James Fickelscherer, 51, of Unicorn Drive, Sanborn, was killed.

Jordan drove off and was apprehended in his driveway after a witness, Dale Engelhart of Saunders Settlement Road, chased him on Route 31 until he could read Jordan's license plate number and phone it to the Sheriff's Office.

Jordan told a deputy, "I was having a coughing fit and blacked out. I hit a mailbox and when I came to, I saw a black piece flying over my windshield."

Sheriff's deputies reported that the victim was thrown 110 feet, landing in a front yard, and his bike flew 90 feet beyond that.

In another sentencing Friday, Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza hit Russell B. Wright Jr. with a prison term of two to four years for stabbing his girlfriend in the abdomen on June 1, 2008.

Wright, 27, of Lockport Street, Niagara Falls, had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree assault. He was living on Eighth Street at the time of the stabbing of Kimberly Kennedy on their front porch.

Sperrazza imposed a two-year County Jail sentence on Richard C. Reiss, 19, of 23rd Street, Niagara Falls, who had pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and petit larceny.

Reiss was 16 when he had sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl in June 2006, and on Jan. 5 of this year, he entered his grandmother's Niagara Falls home and stole a rifle.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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