Truck Driver Charged with Manslaughter in Fatal Accident

A Ballston Spa truck driver has been charged with second degree manslaughter after a June accident in which he hit a car on the New York State Thruway while he was shopping on his phone. 27-year-old Kristofer Gregorek was driving a box truck on the I-90WB when he allegedly rear-ended a car operated by Ellen Volpe of Rochester, who died at the scene. Criminal defense attorney Barry Covert spoke to WGRZ about the charges against Gregorek. The full story is available on the WGRZ website.

Sending a message

WGRZ reports that Gregorek was arraigned in Lancaster Town Court on Thursday night and pleaded not guilty to second degree manslaughter. Mr. Covert told WGRZ that Gregorek was charged with manslaughter as opposed to vehicular manslaughter, a lower level offense, to send a strong message to the public about the dangers and consequences of using a cell phone while driving.

“The district attorney here has said, basically, where you’re concentrating that much on the phone as opposed to the road, you are aware of the fact that you are engaging in reckless activity and, because you’re engaging in that reckless activity, you’re aware of the consequences of your conduct and that conduct has resulted in someone’s death,” Mr. Covert explained.

According to WGRZ, Gregorek faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted and his bail was set at $5,000 cash.

About Barry N. Covert

Mr. Covert is a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area. He is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.