AMHERST, NY (WIVB) A 17 year-old male is hospitalized at the Erie County Medical Center after being struck by a car while crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard at Thistle Avenue in Amherst on Sunday evening.
“I did not need to see that. It was scary,” said Kenyatta Stewart, an employee at Checkers restaurant, who says she was covering Sunday evening for her co-worker, named Torrie. She says he had been running late when he got off the bus as it was getting dark just after 7 p.m. and was crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard at Thistle Avenue when he was struck by a car.
“The same coat he wears everyday that he comes here, I saw that and I’m like, ‘that’s got to be him’. So it was just so traumatizing man, I didn’t need to see that at all,” said Stewart.
That section of the boulevard currently has reduced lanes a utility crews install street lights in the hopes of making the street safer for pedestrians. More than a hundred street lights are going up on the Boulevard between Interstate 290 and Creekside Drive in Amherst.
“That’s what we need right here because this is the second co-worker that’s worked here that’s got hit,” said Stewart. “I try to take my time on this street, because you know, I don’t want to be the next victim.”
The accident happened where there is no crosswalk or traffic light. Kenyatta says her co worker Torrie had just graduated high school last spring and was working at Checkers while taking classes at Bryant and Stratton.
“Everybody loves him,” said Stewart. “He’s very hardworking and he tries to help out as much as he can, and I try to help him as much as I can. We’re good co-workers, you know and it just kind of hurts so bad to see him like that because he didn’t deserve it at all. You know he is banged up and he’s in a lot of pain, but it’s going to take that to get better.
Amherst Police haven’t released Torrie’s full name but say he remains at ECMC with serious head and neck injuries but is expected to survive. The driver has not been charged, but the investigation continues.
In a News Four investigation in July of 2018, Luke Moretti spoke with Gail Gentry, the operator of the Checkers restaurant who had called upon the state to make changes to the stretch of road. In that story, a spokeswoman for the NY State Department of Transportation estimated that between 30,000 and 50,000 cars travel that stretch of the boulevard each day.