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Woman struck by vehicle during Niagara Square protest suing the driver

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Posted at 3:27 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 15:27:58-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A woman who was struck by a vehicle during a Niagara Square protest in September 2020 is suing the driver, according to court documents.

According to Slow Roll Buffalo who spoke with 7 Eyewitness News following the incident in September, 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 the driver was allegedly shouting as she drove into the crowd.

A source told 7 Eyewitness News the driver said she "thought she had a clear lane of traffic" when she ran over Huffman. The source said the driver then pulled over but was chased and pepper sprayed by protesters who broke her windows.

The driver was later identified as 25-year-old Joanna Gollnau. She was arraigned for felony reckless endangerment and reckless driving in November. Gollnau pleaded not guilty and her attorney, Jason DiPasquale, stated in November there is video evidence which shows it was a tragic accident and she felt threatened.

According to court documents Huffman is suing Gollnau and her employer at the time, Ricotta's Pizza Niagara. Court documents say Gollnau was working when the incident occurred and Huffman suffered serious physical injuries and has been and will be caused to pay for medical expenses and rehabilitative care.