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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Man Pleads Not Guilty in Death of NY Tow Truck Driver

Here's the story from The Buffalo News:

A Cheektowaga man was allowed to remain free on $25,000 bail Monday after pleading not guilty to an 11-count indictment in the death of a tow truck operator on the Niagara Thruway this spring.

David Brown, 64, of Markus Drive, was indicted on counts that included vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated in the death of Kevin Coffta, 28, of Clarence Center, at about 5 a. m. April 2.

State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang allowed Brown to remain free on his previously posted bail.

Brown told investigators he had been gambling and drinking wine for about 12 hours at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls before the highway fatality. He declined to comment after his arraignment.

Lynette M. Reda, chief of the Erie County district attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau, said Brown also was indicted on various traffic infractions, including speeding.

Coffta was standing outside his flatbed tow truck on the southbound Niagara Thruway in the Town of Tonawanda preparing to tow an abandoned vehicle left on the shoulder of the road when Brown’s southbound SUV veered onto the shoulder, sideswiped the abandoned vehicle and struck Coffta, police said at the time. Coffta, who was working for Marty’s Towing Service on Grand Island, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brown’s SUV reportedly flipped over several times before landing on its roof in the median. Police said he suffered a minor hand cut.

Here's the link to the first post about the death of 28-year old Kevin Coffta.

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