Witnesses To Fatal Kenmore Ave. Accident Still Shaken

TOWN of TONAWANDA, NY -- Two witnesses to a fatal car-pedestrian accident on Kenmore Avenue Thursday evening remain shaken by what they saw, particularly the concern shown for each other by the two victims, one of whom later died, as they lay injured near each other in the street.

"I don't know what the relationship was, but they must have been pretty close to each other to be in the pain they were in and only be concerned about each other. That's quite remarkable," said Thomas Diebel of Elma.

Diebel was on Kenmore Avenue waiting for a light to change at the entrance to Budwey's Supermarket when he noticed a couple, who he'd later come to learn were Kevin Nowak and Sandra Garner, starting to cross the street while holding hands.

"The next thing I saw was a gentleman just pulled out on Kenmore Avenue and just mowed them down," he said.

Walking nearby was Gary Piazza who rushed into the street to assist Nowak who was down on the pavement.

"I just held him in my arms…keeping him comforted as best as I could," Piazza told WGRZ-TV.

Meanwhile, Diebel had exited his vehicle to tend to Garner.

"She had to be in excruciating pain but she didn't care about anything about herself she just kept asking how Kevin was and if he was okay."

Ten feet away, Piazza recalled Nowak expressing similar concern for Garner.

"He was more worried about her than he was about himself…."

Others took to looking in on the driver of the vehicle, which struck the couple, later identified by Tonawanda police as Edward Spencer, 82, of Cheektowaga.

"I think he was just in state of shock," said Diebel. "I don't think he knew what was happening or what had happened…and I don't think he did it intentionally. I just don't think he saw them."

A police report obtained by 2 On Your Side indicated Spencer proceeded from the parking lot "when the light turned green". As of Friday evening, no charges had been field against Spencer, although Tonawanda police say the investigation is continuing.

While there is a crosswalk where the mishap occurred, it is well worn and in fact barely visible even in daylight. As well, there is no signal for pedestrians to indicate when it is safe to cross.

Garner, 52, of Amherst, succumbed to her injuries several hours later at Erie County Medical Center where Nowak, 55, of Tonawanda, was recovering and in good condition Friday evening, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Diebel and Piazza both expressed sadness that the couple, who seemed to care so much for each other, would not continue their lives together.

"They seemed care nothing about their own well being…just each other," Diebel said. Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Chief Photojournalist Andy DeSantis. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2


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