Intoxicated Driver Indicted for Killing Motorist in Wrong-Way Crash

Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0

(WNY News Now) – A Buffalo man faces a series of serious charges, including Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, after allegedly causing a fatal wrong-way crash while under the influence.

Buffalo – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn has announced that 52-year-old Guillermo Morales from Buffalo was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek, charged with multiple felonies following a tragic incident that unfolded on Saturday, August 12, 2023.

The indictment against Morales includes three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a Class “B” felony, as well as one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree. Additionally, he faces charges of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, a Class “C” felony, and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree, a Class “E” felony.

It is alleged that on the fateful day, around 3:06 a.m., Morales was driving under the influence of both alcohol and drugs when he caused a devastating collision on the I-190 near the Scajaquada Expressway in Buffalo. The defendant, driving in the wrong direction on the southbound side of the highway, collided head-on with another vehicle. Tragically, the collision resulted in the death of 38-year-old Matthew J. Czop from Tonawanda, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

While Morales sustained non-life threatening injuries, he was subsequently arraigned while being treated at Erie County Medical Center.

During the investigation, law enforcement officers discovered Morales in possession of a quantity of suspected cocaine. Further analysis confirmed the substance as powder cocaine.

Morales is set to return for a pre-trial conference on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. He remains in custody without bail.

If found guilty of the most serious charge, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Morales could potentially face a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

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