Buffalo man indicted for fatal wrong-way crash on I-190

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Buffalo man was indicted on multiple charges for his alleged involvement in a fatal wrong-way crash in August, the Erie County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Police responded to the scene of the I-190 near the Scajaquada Expressway just after 3 a.m. on Aug. 12 for a head-on, wrong-way collision. According to the DA’s Office, Guillermo Morales, 52, was driving north on the southbound side of the highway when he allegedly crashed his pick-up truck into another vehicle.

Man facing up to 15 years in prison for fatal wrong-way crash

The driver of the other vehicle, 38-year-old Matthew J. Czop of Tonawanda, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Morales was transported to ECMC with non-life-threatening injuries and was arraigned while hospitalized the same day. Authorities said he was under the influence of alcohol and a drug at the time of the crash.

During an investigation, the Erie County DA said Morales was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of suspected cocaine. Further testing confirmed that the substance was powder cocaine.

Morales was charged with the following:

Three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide

One count of manslaughter in the second degree

One count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree

One count of aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree

He is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 2 for a pre-trial conference and continues to be held without bail. If convicted of the count, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

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Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.

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