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May 30, 2013 - 7:56am

Drivers tell different stories of accident on Creek Road that sent one to the hospital

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, creek road.

The driver of a car that was trying to pass another vehicle on Creek Road yesterday says the other driver sped up, preventing her from safely passing.

The driver being passed denies she sped up.

Both were issued citations following the two-car accident that cause one car -- the one being passed -- to fly off the roadway and overturn, pinning the driver's arm under the hood of the car.

Cindy Schwartz, 43, of Alexander, the driver of the car reportedly being passed, was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital where she's listed in satisfactory condition.

The other driver, 17-year-old Elizabeth Weber of Exchange Street in Attica, was uninjured.

Weber was northbound in a 2010 Kia SUV on Creek Road, according to Deputy Chad Minuto's report, when she attempted to pass a 2000 Chevy sedan driven by Schwartz.

According to Weber, Schwartz sped up.

Yesterday, at the scene, Minuto said there was an oncoming southbound vehicle that may have contributed to Weber's decision to try and get back into the northbound lane quickly.

When she did, her right rear fender clipped the left front fender of the Chevy sedan, sending it off the east shoulder and tumbling into a farm field.

A black Labrador was Schwartz's only passenger. The dog ran from the accident scene heading toward the woods far in the distance to the east. It was nowhere to be seen during accident operations and this morning dispatchers say they have no report of it being found.

The accident was reported at 6:48 p.m. and Town of Batavia fire responded to the accident along with Mercy EMS.

It took about 30 minutes for firefighters to extricate Schwartz. She was buckled in her seat, upside down in the vehicle with her arm outside the driver-side window and pinned under the roof the car. Firefighters used airbags to lift the vehicle so her arm could be freed.

Weber was cited under the vehicle code section 1122-a for allegedly returning to her lane of travel without reaching a safe distance from the overtaken vehicle and Schwartz was issued a citation for allegedly speeding up while being passed under section 1122-b.

Skip Henning
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Sounds like experience behind the wheel could've been a factor...

Kyle Couchman
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Skip, ya know I at first thought that as well.... But if you think about it, if the driver she was passing also saw the oncoming car and didn't do the common sense thing and slow down to let her in then, that driver is as much at fault as well. I am thankful the driver with the dog did not have my grandson in the vehicle. I am gonna say knowing her personality I am not surprised to hear her accused of speeding up. Its not her first accident.

William Millen
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Sounds like another case of reckless driving on potentially both parties behalf. Good news no one was seriously hurt.

Most importantly, did they find the dog?

Billie Owens
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The dog ran into a pretty densely wooded area and has not yet been found, so far as we know.

alvin tufts
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How was she issued a ticket? As with most accidents both parties blame each other. It is obvious that Weber caused the accident. Schwartz may have sped up but there is no proof. It seems that every aggressive driver that weaves in and out of traffic, can claim the same thing. How can innocent drivers defend against this? Was there a witness that heard her rpms increase?

Michael Bishop
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I have dealt with a lot of drivers speeding up when trying to pass. Sometimes I don't think it's intentional. Say they're going 45 in a 55mph... Then they see a car next to them and their eye is drawn to it... and tries to stay with it. I DO however get absolutely frustrated when I'm going down the thruway (toll portions), and intend to pass someone and they speed up so I can't pass. I use cruise, so I don't speed up or slow down... I just move back over, then catch up to them 2 miles further down the road and I try to pass again, and the same thing happens.

Sorry, long winded comment. But the driver may have sped up but not realized it. Or the driver may have sped up just to be a knothole. If someone speeds up when I'm trying to pass them on a country road, I usually think it's intentional. But you never know. If someone is doing 50 in a 55mph, then you go 10mph faster than them to pass, it doesn't take that long clear the vehicle. At 10mph you're going somewhere around 15 feet per second. I always start my pass at passing speed. So 15ft behind the car, an average car is 20ft long, then 3 car lengths to clear.. Say 100ft total, that'd be about 6-7 seconds to make the complete pass. If both cars stay at the same speed. If there's no oncoming traffic or the traffic is a tiny dot down the road, you should be quite safe. No road pictures, so I they were at least in a passing zone.

I do think the "experience card" will be played.

I have had cars pull out from a driveway or business directly in front of me while I'm in the middle of a pass. Doesn't sound like that's what happened here though.

Mardell Lamb
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Why do people have to drive 55+ down "back roads?" From what I remember, Creek Rd. has curves & twists along the way. Just because the speed limit is 55, does that mean one HAS to drive that & then some? One never knows when children or pets/animals can dart out in a blind second. It's too bad Ms. Weber was in such a hurry. A scary situation for everyone. Hopefully some lessons can be learned from this ~ regardless of who was at fault.

I hope that Ms. Schwartz's dog will be found ASAP. Imagine the scare for her & her dog.

Jason Crater
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Mardell - you don't HAVE to go 55, but you certainly can't blame someone for going 55. that is why there are dotted white lines...those that want to drive more slowly are free to do so and those that want to drive faster can pass.

Howard B. Owens
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Micheal, as a young driver in California, where you have a lot of four-lane highways, I would find myself frequently unconsciously keeping pace with a car that passed me on my left ... I don't think it's a far-fetched theory.

Personally, if somebody wants to pass me on a two-lane road, I do all I can to accommodate them. I slow down and move to the right.

jessica young
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i do know Cindy PERSONALLY unlike others claimed they know of her not personally either, i have known her for 10 years and she did not speed up she would NEVER do that she is always telling others to slow down and she would never speed up, especially with her dog in the car , Kayla (the dog) is like her baby she drives extra careful with her in the car. and yes they did find Kayla she is ok except a slight limp she will be taken to a vet to be looked at soon.

Howard B. Owens
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Glad to hear Kayla was found. Thanks for your comment.

Mardell Lamb
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You're right, Jason. My intent wasn't to imply that Ms. Weber didn't have the right to pass. Didn't want it to come across like that. Heck, I remember back in 1981 I was on my way to GCC to take a test...running late. Bad winter weather. I was about 16 or 17, tried to pass a car on Rt. 5 just out of Stafford. Caught up in the slush in the middle of the road as I was attempting to pass & wound up in the ditch. Needless to say, never took the test that day!

Studies have shown that slow drivers cause more car crashes than fast drivers. People who drive slow drive others so crazy that they feel the need to pass them no matter what.

PS: Glad that the dog was found! Hope she'll be ok.

Kyle Couchman
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Seems to me that "driving extra careful" because her dog is in the car would mean slowing down and moving to the right, especially if there was oncoming traffic.

I dont have any doubt that inexperience was a factor, but in a 2 vehicle accident it's not very often that just one person is at fault. As for speed and such, I would assume that would be sorted out in court. Since the officer ticketed both and from the nature of the tickets I'm assuming the passing was legal otherwise she would have been cited for that. In traffic investigation they can get pretty accurate speed from the skid marks left on the road. If neither vehicles skid marks were calculated to be above the speed limit then that would be why speeding was not cited.

I do know that Cindy was just recently in another accident as well before this so since this accident seems mostly to be the result of driver error it makes one wonder does it not. I am just glad there were no fatalities human or canine.

jessica young
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there are no skid marks and she could not move over because there was no shoulder for her to turn into there was a ditch which is where she ended up, the 17 year old was ticketed for unsafe passing even though it was legal it was still considered unsafe and cindy was ticketed for not moving over or slowing down even though the officer agreed there was no where for her to move to.

and the previous accident had nothing to do with cindy's experience driving she was hit by a texting driver .

kevin kretschmer
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".....I do know that Cindy was just recently in another accident as well before this so since this accident seems mostly to be the result of driver error it makes one wonder does it not......"

Not really. Our oldest child was in two car accidents within a year and each of the vehicles he was driving were totaled. Neither accident was his fault. The first time he was stopped attempting to turn left, while oncoming traffic passed by going the other way. The driver of the car that rear-ended him was looking down and tuning his radio, per his statement to the responding officer. As an added bonus, he also was driving without insurance. The second accident was the result of the other driver failing to stop for a red light.

Life happens, and sometimes you're just left wondering "why?"

Kyle Couchman
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Sorry Jessica read the article again... This is what they were ticketed for...

Weber was cited under the vehicle code section 1122-a for allegedly returning to her lane of travel without reaching a safe distance from the overtaken vehicle and Schwartz was issued a citation for allegedly speeding up while being passed under section 1122-b.

Now lets not change facts...

Kyle Couchman
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I agree with you Kevin that life happens but in this case Cindy sat in our living room and told us much different info than Jessica relates so take that for what it's worth. She is already revising what they were ticketed for right here in this forum.

jessica young
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nope not revising seen the paperwork myself , the batavian has not seen anything n nothing it publishes is ever 100 % correct duhh thus the saying dont believe everything you read but you go ahead and believe whatever im sure you believe the tabloids too and that elvis and tupac are still alive also

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