Husband of hit-and-run victim files lawsuit

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The husband of a Grand Island woman critically injured in a hit-and-run is now taking legal action.

Donald Papaj has filed a lawsuit against Erie County, the Town of Grand Island, Edward Kuebler III of Tonawanda and Elizabeth Hladczuk, Kuebler's girlfriend.

Michelle Kuebler, who co-signed on the lease for the pick-up truck police say Kuebler was driving, is also named in the suit.

Prosecutors say Kuebler never stopped after he hit Dana Papaj June 13th while she was walking her dog along East River Road.

The lawsuit claims Edward Kuebler was on his phone, either texting or talking with Hladczuk, when Papaj was struck.  It also says Kuebler's child was in the vehicle at the time. 

Police arrested him more than two months later and charged him with leaving the scene of a personal injury incident.

Kuebler, a volunteer firefighter and former corrections officer at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, pleaded not guilty.

The lawsuit also claims both Erie County and the Town of Grand Island are negligent for allowing "East River Road to remain in a state of disrepair and in a defective condition" and for "failure to provide safe and sufficient sidewalks."  

Papaj continues to recover from her extensive injuries at ECMC.

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