Neighbors remember mother killed in crash on Thruway

Updated: 05/10/2014 12:31 AM
Created: 05/09/2014 11:10 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

A mother was killed and her five-year-old daughter is in the hospital after their car crashed into a tractor trailer on the Thruway Friday.

Police say 31-year-old Deborah McDonald was on the Thruway near Farmington when her car crossed the median and hit the tractor trailer coming the other way. Part of the trailer rolled over onto the car.  Police say McDonald was pronounced dead at the scene. Her daughter was in the back seat and suffered only minor injuries.

Neighbors of McDonald are devastated by what happened. 

It was a terrible crash that killed a mother and hospitalized her young daughter. It happened on the New York State Thruway Friday. Thirty one-year-old Deborah McDonald was pronounced dead at the scene. She lived with her five-year-old daughter in Corn Hill. Carol Kraus was her neighbor. 

Carol Kraus, neighbor, said, “She was so kind and giving. Her daughter was everything to her. Her daughter was her life, really.”

New York State Police say the two were headed eastbound when their car went off the road, crossed the median and went into oncoming traffic, hitting a tractor trailer. Police do not know why the car veered off the road. Neighbors are questioning what happened.

Kraus said, “She loved life. She was looking forward to a home.”

Fire officials on scene say the child was in a car seat in the back of the car.

TJ Steffenhagen said, “What ran through my mind was I have a young niece. She's only two-years-old and I can only imagine what the family is going through. I mean, I really feel bad.”

Steffenhagen says he was shocked when he saw what happened.

Steffenhagen said, “I was in shock and awe. I went to the website and I saw the video, I saw the picture and I saw Corn Hill and I was just taken aback by it.”

The neighbors say McDonald was always cheerful and really a great mom to her daughter. The driver of the tractor trailer, also from Rochester, was not hurt and not charged.

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