Driver admits to leaving crash scene; faces 4 years in prison

Mug shot of Carlton Tompkins. (ECSO)
Mug shot of Carlton Tompkins. (ECSO)

CHEEKTOWAGA – A hit-and-run driver faces 4 years in prison after he admitted to causing a rollover crash on the Kensington Expressway last month which seriously hurt a Buffalo man.

Carlton Tompkins, 31, of Buffalo pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan to one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Without Reporting, an E felony, and one count of Reckless Driving, an A misdemeanor according to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.

Cheektowaga Chronicle reported last month that Mr. Tompkins was aggressively driving a 2007 Lincoln MKZ when the crash happened on May 15th.  Eyewitnesses told the police that the vehicle was moving back and forth across numerous lanes and was traveling faster than the other traffic.  At one point, Mr. Tompkins cut into the center lane of traffic and hit the front end of a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe.

The driver of the Hyundai lost control, hit the concrete median, and flipped over several times.  Mr. Tompkins continued driving and was followed to his Westminister Avenue address by a witness who was relaying his whereabouts to a police dispatcher.  He was later arrested.

A vehicle rolled over several times along the Westbound Kensington Expressway on May 15, 2018. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
A vehicle rolled over several times along the Westbound Kensington Expressway on May 15, 2018. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

When police confronted Mr. Tompkins about the crash he admitted he knew he hit the victim’s car, but drove off because he was “scared.”

The District Attorney’s Office says the 57-year-old victim suffered serious physical injuries, including fractured facial bones and a broken femur.

“This is another case where if the driver had stopped at the scene, he would not be facing a felony charge,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. “I encourage anyone who is involved in a crash to stop and call 911. If you do not stop, you will be prosecuted.”

Mr. Tompkins faces a maximum of 4 years in prison when he is sentenced on Monday, August 6 at 9:30 a.m.

Mr. Flynn lauds the investigative work of Officer Brian Gray and Officer Jacob Wodowski of the Cheektowaga Police Accident Investigation Unit.  He also praises the actions of the Good Samaritan, which assisted law enforcement in quickly identifying the suspect.

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