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Crime

Corrections officer receives 1-3 years for hit-and-run

A Tonawanda man has been sentenced to 1-3 years in prison after leaving the scene of an auto-pedestrian accident on Grand Island last June 13. His driver's license also was revoked.

Edward Kuebler III, 27, had already pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident that hurt Dana Papaj, 54, who was walking her dog along East River Road. Kuebler is an EMT, volunteer firefighter and until his sentencing, a state corrections officer at Wende Correctional Facility.

Prosecutors had argued that surveillance video from a nearby home showed that at the time of the collision, Papaj had followed her dog up onto a lawn. After Kuebler struck her in the head with the side mirror of his pick-up truck, he proceeded to drive away from the scene.

Friends and family of Papaj submitted 78 letters to the court detailing how the incident has changed her and their lives. She suffered severe head trauma and multiple broken bones. She was in a coma for a month and at Erie County Medical Center for several months receiving treatment.