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Driver charged in trooper's death

A Town of Tonawanda man driving the pickup that fatally struck State Trooper Kevin P. Dobson on March 26 on the Youngmann Highway as been charged with a moving traffic violation.

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III on Tuesday said Charles Ricotta, 71, has been served with the noncriminal violation for driving on the shoulder of the road. He will be arraigned in Town of Tonawanda Court at 5:30 p.m. July 12.

Dobson, 43, a 14-year veteran of the State Police, was hit as he was writing up a speeding ticket for another motorist on the eastbound Youngmann, east of Colvin Boulevard, at about 7:30 a.m. March 26.

Dobson, who was assigned to its Clarence barracks, died in Kenmore Mercy Hospital shortly after being hit. Police at the time suggested that the blinding morning sun may have impaired Ricotta's vision.

Neither Ricotta or his lawyers could be reached to comment Tuesday.

The district attorney and Kelley A. Omel, chief of his Vehicular Crimes Bureau, both declined to comment further.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Lt. Governor Robert J. Duffy both attended Dobson's funeral in Eastern Hills Weslyan Church in Clarence on April 1.

The governor also had ordered flags on all state office buildings flown at half-staff in honor of Dobson.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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