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Civil suit filed in teenage pedestrian’s death

WHEATFIELD – A wrongful death and negligence lawsuit was filed in State Supreme Court last week against the driver accused of striking and killing a 16-year-old boy last year.

Lisa Fischer, the mother of Ryan Fischer, the victim of the hit-and-run accident, brought suit against Anthony J. DiFilippo, the driver. He was accused of texting on his cellphone when his auto struck Ryan, fatally injuring him, on the evening of Nov. 20, 2014.

DiFilippo, 40, of Michael Drive, Wheatfield, has pleaded not guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident without reporting, tampering with physical evidence, failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian and texting while driving.

He is due for a pretrial appearance Jan. 26 in Lockport before State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. His trial is scheduled for Feb. 8.

Christopher M. Pannozzo of the Hamburg law firm Shaw & Shaw, said he was not permitted to place a monetary damage demand in his initial filing.

“We haven’t determined that yet,” Pannozzo said.

He expects Allstate Insurance, the company that insured DiFilippo’s vehicle, to hire an attorney to defend the case.

Ryan Fischer was walking with his girlfriend in the dark down Krueger Road, a town highway that connects Niagara Falls Boulevard with Ward Road in Wheatfield, when he was struck by a vehicle that left the scene. He died of head injuries the next day.

Fischer apparently was in the driving lane because there was no sidewalk and virtually no shoulder, only a narrow strip of grass between the pavement and a deep drainage ditch on the north side of the road.

At the urging of Fischer’s stepmother, Kelly Dueger, the town Highway Department was directed to install a culvert pipe, fill in the ditch and level it off, so pedestrians would have a safe escape route.

The town also is mulling the construction of a sidewalk on the south side of Krueger Road. The latest cost estimate is $945,000, including the replacement of drain pipes.

email: tprohaska@buffnews,com