BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo woman accused of striking a bicyclist with her vehicle in Niagara Square on September 23 was in court Wednesday morning.
25-year-old Joanna Gollnau was arraigned for felony reckless endangerment and reckless driving. Gollnau pleaded not guilty and her attorney, Jason DiPasquale, said there is video evidence which will show it was a tragic accident and she felt threatened.
This is her as she leaves court with her attorney Jason DiPasquale after entering a not guilty plea. He says video evidence will show it was a tragic accident and Gollnau felt threatened at the scene. pic.twitter.com/eHc5syDBRQ— Ali Touhey (@Ali2e) November 4, 2020
The judge also enforced a license suspension for Gollnau. Her attorney said a suspended license would present a significant hardship because she has a young child and a delivery job, but the judge denied the objection.
According to Slow Roll Buffalo the person hit by the truck was Karen Huffman, a member of their board of directors. According to a spokesperson for Slow Roll, Huffman suffered broken bones.
Huffman was part of a group that gathered in Niagara Square to rally against racial injustice, according to eyewitnesses Gollnau was allegedly shouting as she drove into the crowd.
A source told WKBW Gollnau allegedly said she "thought she had a clear lane of traffic" when she struck Huffman and then pulled over but was allegedly chased and pepper sprayed by those who were gathered in the square.
7 Eyewitness News was at the scene at the time. A video of the incident can be found here, WARNING it is graphic.
Gollnau was released on her own recognizance and is due back in court January 4, she faces a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted on all charges.