Local magazine publisher recovering from hit and run as police investigate the case

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Will Jones of Buffalo was hit by a driver in June and has been in the hospital ever since.

While he was at ECMC, he got a blood clot in his brain stem. Afterwards, he couldn’t walk and it was tough for him to talk.

“It was really difficult to see him like that,” said Jonathan Jones, Will’s son.

Recently, Will has been able to walk again and his speech is improving. He’s determined to get back on his feet and serve the people of Western New York.

”The progress that he’s made has been amazing, honestly.”

Will is a father of two, owner of Xavier Photography and the publisher of Black Western New York. It’s local magazine dedicated to telling positive stories about the community.

His son, Jonathan Xavier, has stepped up to help his hero during this tough time. “I just want to kind of keep it going so that he can get back into it.”

Will’s life was turned upside down on June 26. Authorities say a driver hit his vehicle on Masten Avenue, near East Utica Street. The force of the collision sent Will’s vehicle into a tree.

The other driver kept going and hit a house on Masten. The driver fled the scene and police impounded their vehicle. So far, no charges have been filed.

“I want to see something done. Some level of justice” said Jonathan.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said even when a vehicle is in police custody, that doesn’t mean it’s an automatically closed case.

“You have no idea who’s driving a car. Just because someone owns a vehicle and that vehicle is involved in an accident, you can’t jump to the conclusion that the owner of the car was involved in the accident. You have to have proof,” said Flynn.

That’s what detectives have been working on.

Flynn said they’re currently waiting for forensic evidence to come back before they decide how to proceed with this case.

Also, given the rise in hit and run cases this year, the DA has a message for drivers. “We’re going to find you. Don’t leave. By leaving the scene of the accident you only exacerbate the crimes that are against you.”

As for Jones, he is still recovering. If you would like to help him out, here’s a link to his GoFundMe account: https://www.gofundme.com/medical-funds-for-will-jones-iii

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