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One dead, one charged in deadly collision on Buffalo airport grounds

WBFO file photo

One person is dead and another charged in a deadly late-night collision between two vehicles on the grounds of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The incident occurred shortly before midnight on Luis Kahl Way. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police say a red pickup truck with five occupants rolled over. One of the passengers was pronounced dead at the scene. Four others, including the driver, were sent to Erie County Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening.

"Our Accident Investigation Unit and other officers on the scene determined, based on the evidence and some witness statements, that there had been contact between two vehicles which contributed to the rollover," said NFTA Police Chief George Gast.

Further investigation led police to arrest 68-year-old Lawrence Penna of Williamsville. He has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Chief Gast says speed appears to have played a factor in the crash but, as the investigation continued Thursday, they do not believe alcohol was involved.

"I can add that the driver of the pickup truck that ended up rolling over, there are some vehicle and traffic law charges that we speculate will be laid against him," he said.

The names of the occupants of the pickup truck, including the deceased, were not released as of late Thursday morning. Chief Gast said the passengers were from out of town.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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