An 18-year-old driver who spent hours drinking at a Buffalo restaurant before slamming his car into another vehicle, leaving the other driver disabled, was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday.
Adam Migliore was granted youthful offender status so he can get a job after he completes his jail term and the inpatient treatment he has been getting for the past six months. State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns also placed Migliore on probation for five years and warned that he faces a state prison term if he violates probation.
Migliore pleaded guilty March 26 to felony vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated and underaged drinking for crashing into the car of 69-year-old Joseph Kurek at Maple and North Forest roads in Amherst at about 11:30 p.m. last Nov. 28.
After the sentencing, Joyce Kurek said she was "not very happy" with the brief jail term imposed for the crash that left her husband in a wheelchair and with a collapsed lung and fractures to his hip, pelvis and ribs.
Refusing to discuss a possible civil suit against Migliore and his parents, Kurek stressed that her husband is not expected to fully recover.
"This boy has ruined our lives for a lot more than five years," she said of Migliore.
The judge agreed with defense attorney Andrew C. LoTempio that sending the young man with a drinking problem to state prison now would not be productive for anyone in the case and would likely expose him to characters who could lead him down a further path of crime.
Migliore, of Calvin Court North, Town of Tonawanda, took responsibility for the crash.
"I was a selfish, ignorant young man, and all I cared about was myself," he said.
Migliore also told the judge he's now "a completely different person."
LoTempio said his client's illegal drinking for hours at the Buffalo Chop House during a family celebration was the culmination of years of drug and alcohol abuse caused by a lack of parental guidance. The lawyer, who has known Migliore's parents for decades, told the judge they let their son "drink to the point of intoxication" the night of the crash.
Kelley A. Omel, chief of the Erie County district attorney's Vehicular Crimes Unit, declined comment on the status of a State Liquor Authority investigation of the restaurant, where Migliore reportedly was served drinks for hours before the crash without being forced to show proof of age.
Migliore was driving west on Maple when, according to witnesses, he ran a red light and struck the southbound car driven by Kurek. The Getzville Fire Department extricated Kurek from his vehicle.
Migliore fled on foot but was spotted walking in the area by Amherst police about 45 minutes later and was captured after he tried to hide in some bushes.
In addition to the brief jail term, the judge barred him from driving again until he turns 21 and fined him $1,375. He also ordered Migliore to wear an electronic monitoring device while on probation and to use an ignition interlock device that will prevent him from driving with any alcohol in his system. He will have to pay the cost of the monitoring devices.