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Two killed, one hurt at Westfield rail crossing

WESTFIELD -- Two young men were killed and another was seriously injured when they were struck by a train at a rail crossing near North Gale Street about 6:26 p.m. Friday.

All three, described as in their 20s, were hit by a 45-car Norfolk Southern freight train. Two were killed instantly. The third victim was taken initially to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., then transferred to the Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo. Westfield police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office are investigating.


Driver who fled crash facing several charges

A Town of Boston driver who fled on foot after a head-on collision of two pickups about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the 2400 block of Wehrle Drive was arrested by Amherst police.

Brandon Studd, 32 -- arrested after a 90-minute search by several police agencies, a helicopter and a K-9 unit -- was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. He also was charged with driving while impaired by drugs and leaving the scene of an injury accident.

The driver of the other pickup, whose identity was not released, was treated in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, and released.


10th conviction means jail for 'serial drunk driver'

A Williamsville man denounced as "a serial drunk driver" for his 10th DWI conviction was sentenced Friday to a year in jail.

John Haberman, 66, of Highland Avenue, was scolded by Cheektowaga Town Justice Paul S. Piotrowski, for having "escaped punishment for all these years." Piotrowski also revoked Haberman's driver's license and told him he will have to seek court permission to get a new license after emerging from jail.

Haberman, who will likely spend the next eight months in custody under the state sentencing provisions, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated a month ago for his arrest by Cheektowaga police on Beach Road about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 10. Haberman had posted a blood-alcohol reading of 0.18 percent, more than twice the state's legal limit.


Guilty plea entered in theft from 401(k) plan

The owner of a defunct Lockport industrial design company pleaded guilty Friday to a federal embezzlement charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango said Thomas J. Barnes of Buffalo admitted taking money from a 401(k) plan for Franbilt, the company he bought in 2005 and later closed, and converting it to his own personal use. Barnes, a lawyer, admitted stealing $69,894, money that was intended for the plan.


East Side shooting victim is in critical condition

Jason L. Hawkins, 32, shot in the 600 block of Jefferson Avenue early Friday, remains in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center.

Buffalo homicide squad detectives were called to investigate the incident, which occurred near Foster's Bar, 694 Jefferson Ave. shortly after 4 a.m. Hawkins was shot in the chest by an unknown suspect. Call the confidential TIPCALL number 847-2255, text-a-tip to 716.847-2255, or use the department's website --


Police arrest suspect in Elmwood Village attack

A Town of Tonawanda man was arrested in the stabbing of a man outside Jim's Steakout on Elmwood Avenue shortly before 5 a.m. Friday, police said.

Ronald Mellerson, 41, was charged with first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Police were called shortly before 5 a.m. to the crime scene.

The victim, identified only as a 23-year-old man, was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment.


Four young men charged in paintball attacks

Four men are accused of firing paintball guns at pedestrians from a car in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood early Thursday, injuring one person.

Terry L. Williams, 21, his brother, Julian Williams, 19; Martin Boyd, 20 and Andre R. Tucker, 24, are charged with second-degree assault, criminal mischief, weapons possession and reckless endangerment.

One of their victims was shot in the face, head and body at Main and Riley streets, police said. The shootings occurred between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 12:45 a.m. Thursday, police added.

The suspects were arrested in the 1500 block of Main about 1 a.m., police said.


Pair of masked bandits hold up Hertel pizzeria

Two masked men robbed Zip's Wise Guys Pizza on Hertel Avenue early Friday, police said.

Police said two men, one with a bandana over his face and the other wearing a blue ski mask, came into the pizzeria about 2:15 a.m. The man with the ski mask was armed with a long-barreled handgun.

One of the men jumped over the counter and tried to open the cash register. He forced a worker to open it and demanded the money be put in a bag. The robbers fled through an alley.