Thruway re-opened after deadly pileup wreck near Buffalo

January 03, 2018 04:43 AM

Crews worked Tuesday night to cleanup a deadly pileup crash on the Thruway East of Buffalo.

The highway was cleared late Tuesday evening after being closed between Depew and Pembroke exits for eight hours. Troopers say one person was killed and others were injured.

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The incident left drivers stuck in traffic throughout the day.

Driver Kevin Gurusaran was involved in the crash. He says, "Oh, it was brutal. Scary. You don't know what to do. You're just in shock."

Drivers say the pileup scene erupted out of heavy snow, leaving them no way to avoid a chain reaction wreck even as they saw it happening ahead of them. Corey Zeiner was driving his box truck home to Brockport hauling a load of snow blowers.

"You can't really see far," says Zeiner. "Next thing you know there is a wall of cars stopped. Some guy spun out in the other lane and swerved across my lane and I hit the brakes harder and it locked up just slid into the semi in front of me."

State police say one driver was killed and another severely injured when as many as 25 vehicles, including ten tractor trailers, crashed in the eastbound lanes of I-90. Dozens more ended up running off the road into the snow.

"It didn't stop," says Tammy Dawn, involved in crash. "There were cars behind us that were still coming and piling up. And you saw it moving even closer forward."

Police say the investigation into this mess is just starting and that they'll probably be looking at this as a series of multiple accidents, not one big one, probably with multiple causes. But they say the weather is likely a big one with conditions that were "poor" and "treacherous" with blowing snow and slick roads.

"Oh, you can't see," added Gurusaran. "It's literally sideways snow, wind blowing; you could barely see in front of you."

Drivers who were stranded but not hurt were bused to a nearby hotel in Cheektowaga to wait for rides home and count their blessings. Tammy Dawn, who escaped without even any damage to her car, was stunned to learn this chaotic scene was a deadly one.

"Oh my God," she said, "And for that I'm thankful that me and my grandson are OK and my condolences go to their family."


Charles Molineaux

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