Former corrections officer sentenced for Grand Island hit and run

Posted at 4:49 PM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 23:17:30-05

"You are responsible for this, you are the reason my wonderful family has been through hell, that I can't bring myself to wish upon you." It was a scene of raw emotion in Erie County Court as family members confronted the hit and run driver who devastated their family.

54-year-old Dana Papaj has spent the last eight months recovering from a severe hit and run accident.

On Monday, 27-year-old Edward Kuebler III was sentenced to one to three years in prison for leaving the scene after he hit Papaj as she walked her dog on Grand Island last June.

The Papaj family has endured months of trauma.  Dana was in a coma and has had a slow recovery.
She finally returned home in December, but her family says she's not the same.

"Her long-term memory is mostly gone," said Papaj's daughter in court. "My childhood is not in my mom's head anymore, my sister's childhood is not there, she doesn't even remember our weddings that she helped plan."

Days before the accident, Papaj became a grandmother for the first time. Now, she's learning about her life, all over again.

The Papaj family put a video together, to show the judge the long-term difficulties Dana is facing. "It was like punching me in the stomach," said Judge Ken Case about the video during Monday's sentencing. 

During sentencing, Kuebler did say he regrets what he did.