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Driver sentenced to prison in connection to fatal crash in Niagara Square in 2020

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 16:55:32-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal crash in Niagara Square in 2020 has been sentenced to prison.

The Erie County District Attorney's Office announced 41-year-old Paul Tolbert, III was sentenced Thursday in Erie County Court to an indeterminate sentence of seven-and-a-half years to 15 years in prison.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: 7 News has chosen to use Tolbert's mugshot in accordance with our station mugshot policy, as he has been found guilty and has been sentenced. You can read our full mugshot policy here.

The district attorney's office said on November 26, 2020, Tolbert was driving a minivan at a high rate of speed south on Delaware Avenue when he crashed into the McKinley Monument in Niagara Square. 34-year-old Angel Marie Cobb of Buffalo was a passenger in the vehicle and was killed.

Tolbert was taken to ECMC to be treated for various injuries and the district attorney's office said he was found to be under the influence of cocaine and fentanyl at the time of the crash. A small bag containing white powder was found in Tolbert's clothing and the substance was tested and determined to be fentanyl, according to the district attorney.

Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi found Tolbert guilty of the following charges in March:

  • One count of manslaughter in the second degree
  • One count of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree
  • One count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree