Large crowd for funeral of teen killed by hit-and-run driver

Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 19:27:12-04

A large crowd of friends, family and fellow classmates attended the funeral of 18-year-old Damian Garra at St. John's Funeral Home in West Seneca.

Garra died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver on August 11th as the teen was riding a bicycle to see his girlfriend.  The accident happened on Shanley Street in Cheektowaga.  Garra suffered fatal injuries and died the next day - on the same weekend the family was preparing a party to celebrate Garra's graduation from Emerson School of Hospitality and his entry into Niagara County Community College.

Friends and family said the young man had dreams of becoming a master chef, like his grandfather, opening a bakery, and marrying his long-time girlfriend.

Cheektowaga Police arrested and charged Paul Hintermeier with DWI, running a stop sign, leaving the scene, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office is now waiting for results of a court-ordered blood test taken from Hintermeier to see if the charges will be upgraded to Vehicular Manslaughter.  Hintermeier refused to voluntarily submit to a screening test.  He is also charged with speeding and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.