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Driver Arraigned for Leaving the Scene After Fatally Injuring Pedestrians in Cheektowaga During Winter Storm

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 40-year-old Matthew J. Althoff of Amherst was arraigned yesterday before Cheektowaga Town Court Justice David Stevens on one count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Without Reporting Resulting in Death (Class “D” felony). 

It is alleged that on Monday, January 15, 2024, at approximately 7:21 p.m., the defendant was driving a Ford Explorer SUV westbound on Losson Road in the Town of Cheektowaga when he hit a pedestrian. The defendant is accused of leaving the scene without reporting the incident to police. 

The victim, 41-year-old Antwain R. Hankle, was clearing snow from his vehicle in front of his home when he was hit by the vehicle. The victim, who was found injured in the roadway by an off-duty New York State trooper, was taken by ambulance to ECMC where he later died. 

Althoff is scheduled to return on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. He was held without bail. 

His defense counsel filed a bail motion. Today, State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek modified the defendant’s bail to $10,000 cash, insurance company bond or partially secured surety bond. 

If convicted of the charge, Althoff faces a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.   

DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department Accident Investigation Unit for their work in this investigation. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christine O. Murray of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.