A collision on a rural road in upstate New York involving a family’s mini-van and a tractor-trailer has resulted in the deaths of seven people.
The accident occurred on a two-lane highway near Truxton, New York just south of Syracuse. A minivan carrying a driver and 7 passengers travelling north was struck head-on when the trailer became disconnected from the truck body and crossed over the center line.
Although the driver and passenger in the truck escaped injury, all seven fatalities involved passengers riding in the minivan, several of whom were children.
The force of the impact ripped the minivan apart, and both vehicles came to rest on the shoulder of the roadway, according to Capt. Mark Helms of the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department.
“It was a bad accident,” Helms said.
Severe weather in the area may have been a contributing factor in the crash, with news reports of thunderstorms, hail and steady rainfall around the time the accident took place.
The lone survivor of the collision from the minivan was transported to a nearby hospital in Syracuse for emergency medical attention but that individual’s condition is not yet known. Police officials have not yet released the identities of the victims because they are still in the process of notifying family members.
It is also not known if all of the passengers in the minivan were members of the same family or if the driver of the tractor-trailer will face criminal charges.
Douglas Randall, the fire commissioner for nearby Town of Cuyler, said he was directing traffic about a mile north of the crash site when he saw what he believed to be distraught family members being escorted away from the scene.
“They were all meeting down the road at a family member’s house,” he said. “They were all hysterical.”
According to Yahoo News, Cortland County Coroner Whitney Meeker said it will take several days to complete the autopsies.
7 Dead in Upstate N.Y.: Tractor-trailer, minivan collide in Upstate N.Y.; 7 dead
Police: 7 dead in upstate NY crash