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2 facing charges in separate hit-and-run accidents appear in county court

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2016 at 5:43 pm

Hamlin man arraigned, while judge recuses himself in another case

ALBION – A Hamlin man was arraigned today in Orleans County Court for vehicular assault after an alleged hit-and-run in September when a 14-year-old girl was struck and seriously injured on County Line Road.

Cody L. Buzard, 23, of Redman Road appeared in court today to be arraigned for second-degree vehicular assault, driving while ability impaired by drugs and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

Judge James Punch set bail at $50,000 for Buzard.

The girl injured in the accident was treated for a broken femur, shattered pelvis, and laceration to her spleen. She was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester by Mercy Flight.

Buzard was allegedly driving a pickup truck on Sept. 16 when he hit the girl. After driving away, he came back to the scene and turned himself over to investigators about an hour after the incident. He was arrested after failing field sobriety tests, the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office reported in Sept. 21.

In another alleged hit-and-run accident, Judge Punch recused himself from the case against Jeffrey P. VanNostrand, 52, of Kent.

VanNostrand on Aug. 16 allegedly struck a child on a bicycle at 8:47 p.m. on Baker Road. The girl was injured and transported to Strong Memorial by Mercy Flight.

VanNostrand allegedly fled the scene and turned himself in the following morning. He has been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, driving while ability impaired and leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.

Judge Punch said the case is very similar to another hit-and-run with VanNostrand in 1989 where a girl was injured.

The judge said he remembered the details from the 1989 case, back when he was district attorney in Orleans County. The judge recused himself from the latest case with VanNostrand. Another judge will have to come in for the arraignment and to handle the case.

“This is a rare thing for me,” the judge said about recusing himself. “But I find it infuriating (VanNostrand faces charges in a similar hit-and-run).”