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East Aurora man sentenced to jail in wrong-way DWI crash on Skyway

An East Aurora man who seriously injured another driver in a wrong-way crash on the Skyway last spring while s driving drunk was sentenced Wednesday to six months in jail and five years’ probation.

Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk imposed the sentence on Matthew Graham, 28, who had pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular assault. Graham admitted that he had a blood-alcohol level of .21 percent, more than twice the legal limit, as he drove south in the northbound lane and crashed into an oncoming car at 4:14 a.m. April 19, prosecutors said.

The collision seriously injured the other driver, Gillian Eckert, 37, of Kenmore, who suffered a broken leg, underwent two surgeries and was unable to report to work for three months, prosecutors said.

Graham was initially charged with second-degree vehicular assault, misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and driving in the wrong lane. But the vehicular assault charge was elevated from second- to first-degree after the blood test indicated that his blood-alcohol content was more than .18 percent.

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