Wrong-way crash on state highway leaves 3 dead, 3 injured

New York City motorists who have ongoing concerns about safety on the roadway may want to know about a fatal incident that occurred in the north-central part of the state on Nov. 7. Three people were killed in Oswego County after an elderly driver traveled the wrong way on state Route 481 for more than seven miles.

Preliminary reports indicate that the deadly crash that followed involved three vehicles that were traveling in the southbound lanes of the highway. Traffic was subsequently shut down in both directions, and following the accident, authorities worked to reopen the northbound lanes but did not say how long it would be before travel could resume in the opposite direction. The reason that the elderly man had been traveling in the wrong direction was not immediately known.

According to an unidentified witness, the incident began shortly after 11 a.m. near the Caughdenoy exit ramp. As the wrong-way driver headed northbound in the southbound lanes, responding officers kept pace on the correct side of the state highway as they tried but failed to catch the man's attention across the median. Shortly after entering Oswego County, the elderly man's vehicle collided head-on with one vehicle before striking another. The wrong-way driver along with two passengers in the first car that he hit were killed, and the latter car's driver was hospitalized for treatment. The occupants of the second vehicle reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Head-on collisions are often attributable to driver negligence, and they often prove fatal. The surviving family members of an occupant of another vehicle who has been killed in such a crash may want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. If the at-fault motorist also died in the collision, his or her estate or personal representative could be named as a defendant.

Source: Syracuse, "3 dead on Rt. 481 after elderly wrong-way driver plows into oncoming traffic," Douglass Dowty, Nov. 7, 2016

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