Unlicensed driver charged after fatally striking child in Buffalo, fleeing scene

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BUFFALO, NY – Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 37-year-old Kevin J. Mendola of Buffalo was arraigned yesterday morning before State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller on an indictment charging him with the following offenses:

  • One count of Leaving the Scene of an Incident Resulting in Death (Class “D” felony)
  • One count of Criminally Negligent Homicide (Class “E” felony)
  • One count of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (Class “A” misdemeanor

It is alleged that on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at approximately 5:00 p.m., the defendant was operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license on Lovejoy Street near Griffith Park in the Village of Sloan. It is further alleged that when the defendant placed his vehicle into reverse, he hit a male child who was standing nearby next to his bicycle. He then placed the vehicle into drive and ran over the child a second time. After allegedly causing serious physical injuries to the victim, the defendant is accused of leaving the scene without reporting the incident. The defendant was located nearby a short time later by police.

The victim, 10-year-old Michael “Mikey” Conklin of Sloan, was taken by ambulance to Oishei Children’s Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Mendola is scheduled to return on October 29, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. for a pre-trial conference. The defendant was remanded without bail.  

If convicted of all charges, Mendola faces a maximum of 7 years in prison.      


DA Flynn commends the Cheektowaga Police Department Traffic Unit for their work in the investigation.  

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Paul Glascott of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau.