Hannibal teen dead, another in critical condition after alleged hit-and-run; Fulton man charged

Christopher J. Rogers II

HANNIBAL — One teenager is dead and another is in critical condition after a Fulton man allegedly hit them with his truck Saturday then fled the scene.

Kaydence E. Nichols, 16, of Hannibal, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the alleged incident, which occurred between midnight and 1 a.m. Sept. 19, according to New York State Police. Riley P. Trumble, 17, also of Hannibal, was allegedly struck by the same truck at the same time, and was transported to Upstate University Hospital. He remains in critical condition as of noon Monday, according to law enforcement officials.

Christopher J. Rogers II, 29, of 217 Germandale Drive, Fulton, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. Saturday in connection to the alleged incident, according to police. Rogers has been charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident, both class D felonies. He was also charged with second-degree vehicular assault, a class E felony, and driving while intoxicated, according to state police. Rogers was arraigned at approximately 6:45 p.m. Saturday in Oswego County centralized arraignment court and remanded to custody with bail set at $25,000 cash, $50,000 bond or $100,000 partially secured bond, according to officials.

Police on Monday told The Palladium-Times they have video of the scene on state Route 176 from a nearby security camera, and are asking for potential witnesses to assist with their investigation.

New York State Trooper Jack Keller said the alleged incident occurred at approximately 12:34 p.m. near Guernsey Road in Hannibal, roughly halfway between County Routes 7 and 8.

Nichols, Trumble and a third individual were walking on the shoulder of state Route 176, Keller said, when a 2015 Dodge Ram truck allegedly driven by Rogers struck them. Nichols was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Keller, video reviewed by police shows a sedan travel through the same area roughly 14 seconds later.

“We know the driver of the sedan was not with (Rogers), and maybe they didn’t even know what happened,” Keller said. “It’s a dark road, not a lot of people travel through that area, but if you have any information — please contact us.”

Tips can be supplied anonymously to the New York State Police at 315-366-6000.

Rogers allegedly did not stop after hitting the two teenagers, and traveled a short distance away to a location in Cayuga County, police said. He then allegedly returned to the scene of the accident, where troopers responding to the accident noticed damage to his windshield and evidence of a collision with a person or animal. Officers attempted to get Rogers to stop his truck, but he allegedly did not immediately do so. It was finally “a few miles down the road,” Keller said, when troopers were able to able to flag him down.

Rogers then allegedly refused a Breathalyzer test and was placed into police custody where he remains, according to Oswego County Correctional Facility records. The Oswego County District Attorney’s Office and state police executed a warrant to draw Rogers’ blood, which is currently undergoing testing, police said. The timeframe for the return of results for that testing is unclear. The blood tests will influence what charges he will eventually face, officials said. If an individual kills another person in New York while driving a vehicle and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is alleged to be above .18, prosecutors can charge the individual with the C felony variety of vehicular manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of five to 15 years. If an individual charged with vehicular manslaughter is alleged to have a BAC below .18, the case is prosecuted as a D felony (as Rogers’ currently is) — punishable by no worse than seven years in prison.

Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes said the charges against Rogers represent only allegations, and the Fulton man is innocent until proven guilty. Oakes also told The Palladium-Times Saturday after Rogers' arraignment that if the alleged hit-and-run occurred six months ago (before tweaks to the state's controversial bail reform laws), the court would have been "compelled to release him on his own recognizance."

"Even though second-degree vehicular manslaughter is a homicide offense, it was previously considered 'non-violent,'" said Oakes, who has joined other upstate officials in calling for even further amendments to the state's bail system due to what they say are glaring holes in its operation.

Police said the Hannibal Central School District has notified its students, and counseling services would be available at Hannibal High School on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by multiple agencies including the city of Fulton Police Department, the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, the Hannibal Fire Company and the Granby Center Fire Department.

(7) comments

ariel

No bail is necessary. What's done is done. He's not going to drink and drive any time soon and his constitutionally protected right for legal defense is best accomplished if he's not incarcerated. He has NOT been found guilty in a Court of Law, plain and simple. Nothing is gained or accomplished by having him in jail. He may be found not guilty once all of the facts have been brought forward. Witnesses may paint a different picture of what happened. Did they get pushed? What is the Coroner's toxicology report? Many people expected a huge crime wave with bail reform and it is has not happened and is not going to happen because people were locked up unecessarialy

LAW

"He's not going to drink and drive any time soon... " And you know this because? He can meet with his lawyers (if he has any) in a jail interview room. What is "accomplished by having him" incarcerated is he won't be at risk of being blamed for murdering any other high school kids walking on public roads in rural areas until he sobers up. It's true: "He has not been found guilty." Tell us, "Ariel". Is that because he was acquitted or is it because he hasn't faced a jury - yet?

ariel

Ever hear the term "beyond reasonable doubt"? You're the judge/jury/executionern type.

ariel

I've driven over .08 dozens of times. At any given time, but especially on weekends and holidays there are thousands of drunk dirvers on the road. Recently, a Rochester politician drove his state-owned vehilce into a ditch and blew over .08. LUCKILY, most make it to their destination without mishaps (including me, I think). All vehicles should have a BAC sensor that operates continuously and prohibits the vehicle from moving if the driver registers over .05.[thumbup][thumbup]

LAW

"What's done is done."- ARIEL

Yeah, "What's done is done." Are you always that dismissive of the unnecessary death of a harmless young girl walking beside a public road hit by a drunk driver who didn't even stop to offer help in her last moments after he hit her and the fellow high school student she was walking with? What s wrong with you?

ariel

@lawless: Presumption of Innocence is a Constitutionally granted right. You don't know if he was driving. Perhaps his passenger was driving. Perhaps he was elsewhere when this incident occured. You're the "judge/jury/executioner" and "guilty until found innocent" type. What's wrong with you is that you read a news report and accepted as fact, not in the context of the beginning of the judicial process. Bail reform has not resulted in anarchy.

ariel

@lawless: It's people like you why Jake Gardner fled from Nebraska to Oregon.

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