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Trucker charged with manslaughter in UB professor's death

University at Buffalo

State police say a truck driver was shopping online on his cell phone when his vehicle rear-ended a car, killing a University at Buffalo professor.

Troopers said 27-year-old Kristofer Gregorek of Ballston Spa, northeast of Schenectady, was arrested Thursday on a manslaughter charge related to the June 8 crash that killed 45-year-old Ellen Volpe of Rochester. She was an assistant professor and researcher at UB's School of Nursing.

Investigators determined that Gregorek was using his cell phone to shop and then complete a survey when his Freightliner box truck hit Volpe's Honda at a construction site near exit 49 (Depew) in Lancaster. Gregorek was arraigned in Lancaster Town Court Thursday evening.

UB called Volpe "an accomplished scientist" whose "research reflected a passion for enhancing the well-being of teenagers affected by traumatic experiences" and "will be greatly missed."