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Suspect in hit-and-run that injured firefighter turns himself in

A City of Lockport man turned himself in to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office in relation to the Aug. 18 hit-and-run incident that seriously injured a volunteer firefighter who was directing traffic, sheriff's officials announced Saturday morning.

The suspect was identified as Matthew S. Hufnagel, 35.

"Hufnagel contacted sheriff's investigators through his attorney and agreed to meet investigators at the sheriff's office for an interview," sheriff's officials said in a statement.

He was charged Friday evening with a felony charge of leaving the scene of a serious physical injury accident as well as disobeying a traffic control device and disobeying a police officer or flag person. He is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 3.

On Wednesday, Sheriff James Voutour made a personal appeal for the motorist who hit the volunteer firefighter while he was directing traffic Sunday in Lockport to turn himself in.

"On Aug. 18, 2019, at 9:40 p.m., my friend, firefighter Ron, was directing traffic at Tonawanda Creek Road and Minnick Road. There was a serious motorcycle accident in the area and Firefighter Ron was called upon to provide safety for the police officers investigating," Voutour wrote in an open letter he posted on his Twitter account.

Voutour described the injured firefighter as a 40-year veteran of the Rapids Volunteer Fire Company, who is a married father of two children.

The sheriff wrote that he was personally acquainted with the firefighter and that he lives in the firefighter's fire district.

"Ron is kind, humble and very quiet. He simply shows up and does his job. His spirit is broken knowing that his job and the fire service may now be in jeopardy. He deserves better," Voutour continued in his letter.

Voutour said the suspect had not seen his letter when he turned himself in.

Niagara County sheriff issues personal plea to hit-and-run driver

 

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