2 dead in crash on NYS Thruway

07.01.14 | Bob Price

New York State Police have confirmed that two people are dead after a multi-vehicle crash which occurred on the New York State Thruway Monday afternoon.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., an eastbound passenger vehicle apparently crossed the median and entered the westbound lanes. It struck a semi-tractor trailer and then several other vehicles, according to Sgt. Steven F. Casabella.

As a result of the impact, the tractor-trailer became fully engulfed in flames.

A total of five vehicles were involved including the tractor-trailer, according to a news release from State Police.

The injuries of the other involved drivers and passengers range from minor to critical, Casabella said. The number of people who were injured was not immediately available, and police did not release the identity of any of the victims, or which vehicles they were in.

The crash occurred in the vicinity of mile marker 355, near the West Bloomfield Road overpass, about four miles west of the Victor exit.

RIT women's hockey coach Scott McDonald was returning home from a recruiting trip to Buffalo with assistant coach Matt Woodard when the crash happened.

Woodard pulled to the side of the road and McDonald called 911. McDonald said an ambulance arrived quickly and he and Woodard traveled on to Victor after first responders arrived.

"It was unbelievable," he said shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday. "I am still shook up about it."

Westbound lanes of the Thruway were closed and traffic was diverted off the Thruway at Exit 45 in Victor and allowed back on at Exit 46 in Henrietta. As of 11:00 p.m., the westbound lane was closed.

Traffic in the eastbound lane was also slowed for several hours.

Members of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Collision Reconstruction Units were on the scene but released no details about the cause of the crash or any factors that might have contributed to the incident.

Crews spent several hours attempting to clear the roadway, towing damaged vehicles and removing the mangled remnants of a guardrail that was left strewn across the road.