Truck Driver Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Fatal Thruway Crash

Chain reaction pileup killed UB professor Ellen Volpe

Tom Puckett
February 22, 2018 - 3:52 pm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A truck driver from Ballston Spa pleads guilty to second degree manslaughter for causing a chain reaction pileup on the Thruway that took the life of a UB professor.

27-year-old Kristofer Gregorek pleaded guilty Thursday before Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.

Back in June, Gregorek admitted to using his cell phone while driving on the Thruway when he rear-ended a car on the New York State Thruway. The driver of the vehicle, 44-year-old Ellen Volpe of Rochester, was killed. Volpe, an Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing, was on her way to work at the time of the crash.

Erie County DA John Flynn says Gregorek was also driving 70 mph at a construction site near Exit 49 (Depew) on the I-90 in Lancaster.

“This is an awful tragedy where a wife, mother and member of the UB community lost her life due to reckless, distracted driving. My condolences go out to the family of Ellen Volpe, and hopefully by the defendant pleading guilty to the highest charge it provides them a sense of closure.”

Gregorek faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Thursday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m.

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