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May 21, 2022 - 10:12pm
posted by Alecia Kaus in accident, news, notify.


At 3:41 p.m. on May 21, 2022, Genesee County dispatchers received a call of a motorcycle off the road in the area of 6191 North Byron Road with the subject not breathing. 

According to Sgt. Andrew Hale with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, a male in his 60’s from Hilton, NY, was traveling eastbound on North Byron Road with three other motorcyclists when for some unknown reason the motorcycle left the roadway and went off the north shoulder of the road and through a ditch, striking a wooden fence, coming to rest on its side.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene by the Genesee Coroner’s Office.  The three other motorcyclists who were traveling with the victim were not in the area when the subject left the roadway and crashed.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of the accident.

UPDATE: The driver has been identified as Thomas Hankey, 60, of Hilton. He was driving a 2013 Victory motorcycle.  It appears that Hankey was eastbound on North Byron Road with three other motorcycles when his bike left its lane of travel. It crossed over the center line and continued off the north shoulder of the road. The motorcycle struck a farm fence and flipped over end-over-end and came to rest on the north shoulder. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Crash Management Team.  

By Alecia Kaus/Video News Service



May 14, 2022 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.

A one-car motor vehicle accident is reported in the area of 9435 South Lake Road, Pembroke.

One subject reportedly has an arm injury.

Pembroke Fire and Indian Falls Fire along with Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 7:21 p.m.: More manpower needed for extrication.

UPDATE 7:23 p.m.: Corfu Fire requested to the scene to assist with extrication.

May 14, 2022 - 1:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, byron.


A motor vehicle accident is reported at Byron Holley Road and Cockram Road, Byron, with a subject in a vehicle unresponsive.

A power line is on the vehicle.

A transformer is down in the road and smoking.

Byron, South Byron, and Elba fire departments dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

UPDATE 1:18 p.m.: National Grid expected on scene in 30 minutes. 

UPDATE 2:19 p.m.:  A silver four-door sedan was westbound on Cockram Road, and it appears to have failed to stop for a stop sign.

A maroon SUV was southbound and attempted to swerve to avoid a collision. The sedan T-boned the SUV, which then left the roadway and struck a utility pole, said Sergeant Michael J. Lute of Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

The sedan had one occupant, the driver, who was uninjured. The SUV had two occupants; both sustained minor injuries. Because of the angle of the SUV wedged under the utility pole, the initial caller could not have a clear view of the passenger compartment of the vehicle and thought at least one of the occupants was unresponsive, but neither occupant ever lost consciousness, Lute said.




May 13, 2022 - 1:55pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, accident, Oakfield.

Genesee County dispatch has reported an accident on Lewiston Road in Oakfield.

May 12, 2022 - 7:34pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, accident, pembroke.

Genesee County Dispatch reports a tractor trailer and motorcycle accident at Route 77 and Main Road in Pembroke.

Pembroke Fire and Indian Falls fire responding. Corfu is providing traffic control at Cohocton Road. 

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: Mercy Flight is en route to the scene.

UPDATE: 8:03 p.m.: Mercy Flight is on the ground.

May 10, 2022 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Basom, Alabama, news, accident.

A two-car motor vehicle accident is reported in the area of 1031 Ledge Road, Basom.

One person has a hand laceration.

Alabama Fire and Indian Falls Fire dispatched along with Mercy EMS.

May 8, 2022 - 3:41am
posted by Press Release in batavia, news, accident.

Press release:

At approximately 3:48 p.m. on May 7, City of Batavia Police Officers along with the City of Batavia Fire Department were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident near 390 West Main Street (Tops Market). 

A single vehicle, a Dodge pickup truck, was traveling on West Main Street when it appears the male operator and sole occupant of the vehicle suffered a medical emergency causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle crossed over all lanes of traffic and left the roadway onto the property of 390 West Main Street, where it struck a fence, coming to rest in the ditch on the property.

City Fire, along with Mercy EMS, attempted life-saving measures, however, the operator was pronounced deceased at the scene by Coroner Peck.

There were no other vehicles or parties involved.

The accident is still under investigation. An autopsy will be performed at the Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death.

The release of the driver's identity is pending notification of family members. 

UPDATE: "The vehicle operator has been identified as Lars B. Walker, 64, of Phoenix, Arizona."

May 6, 2022 - 10:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Bethany.


A motor vehicle accident is reported in the area of 6049 Ellicott Street Road, Bethany.

The original dispatch said a possible serious injury with one person unresponsive. 

When a first responder arrived on the scene, he reported three occupants self-extricated.

Mercy Flight out of Canandaigua is responding

Bethany Fire, Stafford Fire, and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 10:54 p.m.: A silver SUV was southbound on Route 63, and it stopped to make a lefthand turn into the residence of the vehicle's occupants. Meanwhile, a Ford pick-up that was also southbound rearended the SUV. The driver of the pick-up said he didn't see the turn signal until the last second, according to Sergeant Andrew Hale of Genesee County Sheriff's Office. There are no skid marks, and both drivers were uninjured, Hale said. The female passenger in the SUV was initially unresponsive. When a deputy arrived on scene, the passenger was out of the vehicle and walking. She was transported by Mercy Flight Central to Strong Memorial Hospital as a precaution, Hale said.

Photos by Howard Owens



May 6, 2022 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, bergen.

A motor vehicle accident is reported at the railroad crossing on Townline Road, Bergen.

A minor head injury is reported.

Bergen Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched

Fire police are requested for traffic control.

May 1, 2022 - 11:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien, notify.


A woman sustained serious injuries in Darien this evening when the car she was in left the roadway on Erie Street and struck a utility pole and a house before the operator attempted to drive away from the scene. 

He could only get his 2005 Toyota TC another 500 feet down the road before it stalled.

The driver, Michael J. Antonucci, 39, of Darien, and the other two passengers were not seriously hurt. In fact, one of them, with blood dripping down his face, declined medical attention at the scene and walked home.

Both rear passengers were pinned in the vehicle and could not self-extricate.  One of them was seriously injured and identified as Tanya L. Captain, 34, of Darien.

The other passengers were Shawn M. Kwiatek, 43, of Darien, and Steven N. Zink, 30, of Darien.

Captain was transported to Erie County Medical Center by Mercy Flight Central, which was filling in for Mercy Flight of WNY, presently standing down following a fatal accident earlier this week involving one of its helicopters.

At the time of her transport, Captain's injuries were considered life-threatening.  The Crash Management team responded to the scene because of the seriousness of the injuries to Captain.

"Right before she got loaded in a helicopter, she was talking with paramedics," said Sgt. Kyle Krzemien of Genesee County Sheriff's Office. "Right now we're still not 100 percent, but I would say for right now, we're just gonna go with life-threatening until we hear otherwise."

Krzemien said the vehicle was westbound on Erie Street when it crossed the double center line and hit an embankment before becoming airborne. The vehicle then struck a utility pole, shearing it from its base, and, because of the speed of the vehicle, continued southwest until it struck the front porch of a house at 1390 Erie St.  The driver then tried to drive out of the front yard of that house, going back East on Erie Street, and only getting 500 feet down the road before it stopped, the sergeant said. 

There was a power outage in the area that included the traffic signals at Route 20 and Route 77.  At the time of publication, 11 National Grid customers remained without power and power was not going to be restored before 4:30 a.m., according to National Grid.

Criminal charges are pending against Antonucci, according to the Sheriff's Office.  The investigation is ongoing.  

Darien Fire and Corfu Fire responded to the scene along with Mercy EMS.

(Initial Report)

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Top photo: A car after it struck a utility pole and a home on Erie Street in Darien Sunday evening, the damage caused by the accident, and Mercy Flight Central removing one seriously injured woman from the scene. Photos by Howard Owens.

May 1, 2022 - 7:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Darien, notify.

A car has struck a utility pole in the area of 1390 Erie Street, Darien.

There are multiple injuries and two people require extrication.

There is at least one serious injury.

Responding units are asked to enter the scene from Tinkham Road because wires are down in the roadway.

Darien Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 7:12 p.m.: An engine from Corfu is requested to the scene.  Dispatchers checking on availability of Mercy Flight

UPDATE 7:54 p.m.: Mercy Flight Central has landed near the scene.

UPDATE 8:03 p.m.: Mercy Flight has departed with one patient, and is headed towards Erie County Medical Center.

April 29, 2022 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A two-car accident with unknown injuries is reported at Lewiston Road and Galloway Road, Batavia.

Town of Batavia Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.:Injuries appear to be non-serious. A second ambulance requested to the scene, non-emergency.

April 29, 2022 - 9:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Mercy Flight, news, notify, accident.


There have been nine accidents involving the Bell 429, the model helicopter being flown by James E. Sauer, 60 of Churchville, and Stewart M. Dietrick, 60, of Prosper, Texas, when it went down in a field near Norton Road in Elba at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined the cause of four of those accidents.  Three of them were the result of human error and one was an apparent mechanical failure.

The preliminary evidence in Wednesday's crash of the Mercy Flight aircraft, said Aaron McCarter, air safety investigator with the NTSB, is that the rear tail section of the aircraft became detached during the flight.

Aaron McCarter

"Onboard (the helicopter) were two pilots and seasoned professionals about 1300 or 1 p.m. local time, several credible witnesses of the helicopter transitioning the area behind me over Elba, New York, at about 2,000 feet observed and heard a loud boom. We don't know which occurred first (the tail separating or the boom). The tail separated from the helicopter and was found 300 feet from the main wreckage."

The main wreckage was in a gully just a few yards from the edge of Norton Road, about a mile north of Edgerton Road.

McCarter said he will be at the accident scene gathering evidence for three to five days.

"The on-scene portion of the investigation is only a small part of a much larger list, or process," he said. "Most of the work being done by the investigative team happens behind the scenes when the on-scene portion is over. In 10 days, I will be completing the preliminary report. In approximately 12 months, the factual report, followed very shortly by the probable cause, signed off by the Transportation Safety Board members (will be released)."

The cause won't be determined until the investigation is complete, and that investigation, regardless of what the evidence shows now, looks at all factors of the case, McCaster said.  That includes mechanical, environmental, and human elements, and how all three elements interacted.

While both Sauer and Dietrick are experienced pilots, they were on a training mission.

"Even though they are seasoned pilots, you know how much time they had in this particular helicopter?" McCarter said. "I'm not trying to equate aircraft with cars, but have you ever gotten to a car rental that was completely different than yours? It takes you a while to kind of figure out where all the buttons are and how how to maneuver. So that's what we're looking at, we're looking at their familiarity with the machine, how much experience did they have in this particular machine, in addition to all the other aircraft that they have flown."

Wreckage to be examined in Delaware
The wreckage, which was spread over a 2,000-foot area from beginning to end, will be transported to Clayton, Delaware.

"It will be transported back to this facility to a two-dimensional assembly of it on a hangar floor and we'll be able to see how the helicopter -- it can assist us in determining how the helicopter came apart and what happened first."

He added, "We will be doing a thorough engine check. We're gonna be checking on the rotor blades. We're gonna be checking the tail rotor. And we're gonna be downloading data."

While the Bell 429 doesn't have a "black box" as most people are familiar with -- its data isn't in a hardened protective case -- McCarter is confident the flight recorder data can be recovered.

Investigators will also look at flight and maintenance logs and any reports on the helicopter's performance on previous flights.

The aircraft was manufactured in Canada so by international treaty, Canadian aviation experts will be participating in the investigation.

McCarter indicated he doesn't believe there was anything of the ordinary for a training mission prior to the crash.  The mission started at the Genesee County Airport at 11:15 a.m. and the crew did a typical training flight pattern around the airport for about an hour before heading toward Elba.

Once the tail separated, McCarter said, the pilot would have found it impossible to maintain directional control over the aircraft.

"That tail rotor is what keeps the nose of the helicopter pointed in the correct direction," he said. "Because the torque when the rotor blades are spinning around the helicopter, the fuselage wants to spin in the opposite direction, if you remember your high school physics, so the tail rotor actually keeps the nose of the helicopter pointed in a specific direction."

Of the nine prior crashes involving the Bell 429, four claimed six lives.

Prior aviation crashes locally
Of the nine Bell 429 crashes, one was in Batavia on Oct. 6, 2021. That 429 was also owned and operated by Mercy Flight but was not the same aircraft involved in Wednesday's accident. There were no injuries when that helicopter had a hard landing at the Genesee County Airport.  The cause has not yet been determined.

There has been one other helicopter crash in Genesee County over the past 30 years. On Dec. 27, 2003, in Byron, when a pilot practicing autorotations over an airport open field made a hard landing. The pilot was seriously injured. 

The NTSB reported, "The pilot reported that he felt a shudder during the autorotation and tried to regain airspeed by using forward cyclic, but he was unable to regain airspeed. Examination of the helicopter found evidence of low main rotor rpm. No discrepancies were found with the flight controls and engine."

Previous airplane accidents, as reported by the NTSB, in Genesee County:

  • March 31, 1983, Batavia, Cessna 182, mechanical failure, four aboard, no injuries;
  • Sept. 24, 1983, Batavia, Cessna 152, an unexpected gust of wind on landing, two aboard, no injuries;
  • Oct. 7, 1984, Cessna 150H, pilot error at dusk, no injuries; 
  • May 17, 1985, Batavia. Piper PA-22-150, commercial-rated flight instructor encountered unexpected wind at takeoff, no injuries;
  • May 29, 1985, Batavia, Piper PA-28-235, loss of power during takeoff, two aboard, no injuries;
  • Oct. 15, 1986, Le Roy, Piper PA-38, instructor error, two aboard, no injuries;
  • June 20, 1987, Batavia, Cessna 177RG, mechanical failure resulting in an emergency landing, no injuries;
  • March 17, 1991, Le Roy, Cessna 172M, inexperienced pilot error in poor lighting conditions, four aboard, no injuries;
  • Feb. 15, 2004, Batavia, Cessna 172E, the inability of the pilot to maintain control in winds on an icy runway, no injuries;
  • June 15, 2007, Cessna 172s, student pilot error, no injuries;
  • Feb. 7, 2009, Le Roy, Cessna 172A,  pilot error in heavy winds, no injuries;
  • July 15, 2011, Batavia, Murphy Aircraft Elite, pilot error, one serious injury;
  • Aug. 2, 2012, Alexander, Piper PA-25-260, pilot error, no injuries;
  • Sept. 20, 2014, Bethany Center, Cessna 182A, pilot error, no injuries;
  • June 11, 2915, Le Roy, Brandt Leroy E Challenger II, pilot error, no injuries;
  • Oct. 27, 2019, Batavia, Beech A36, pilot error in heavy winds, four aboard, no injuries;
  • June 1, 2020, Le Roy, Beech 36, pilot error, no injuries.

The only other fatal aviation crash in Genesee County since the early 1980s was on Oct. 2, 2020, in Corfu, which claimed the lives of attorneys Steve Barnes and Elizabeth Barnes. The cause of that crash remains undetermined.

CORRECTION: There was another fatal airplane crash in Genesee County on Aug. 11, 2001.  Two people were killed when a Dominiak Kitfox crashed in Byron. Alcohol and drugs were found in the inexperienced pilot's blood.

April 28, 2022 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, pembroke.


East Pembroke Fire responded to a report of a one-vehicle accident at 5:49 p.m. today on Route 5 in Pembroke.

A blue Chevrolet pickup struck a utility pole and then crossed the highway coming to rest on the opposite shoulder. 

The driver may have suffered a medical incident, according to East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton. The driver was transported to ECMC by Mercy EMS for treatment and evaluation. The name of the patient has not been released.

Corfu Fire assisted with traffic control. Westbound traffic was shut down between Boyce Road and Indian Falls Road due to low primary wires hanging low over the highway, Newton said.

East Pembroke remains on scene awaiting the arrival of National Grid crews.

Photos by Allison Lang.  




April 27, 2022 - 12:01am
posted by Press Release in Mercy Flight, news, accident.

Press release:

At approximately 1:00 p.m. the Mercy Flight Communications Center was notified that a Mercy Flight helicopter had sustained an accident in the area of Elba, NY in Genesee County during Mercy Flight’s annual Bell Helicopter factory training.

Mercy Flight Pilot James Sauer and a Bell Helicopter Flight Instructor perished in the accident. Mr. Sauer, a retired NYS Police Pilot, began working with Mercy Flight in October 2020.

“It goes without saying that our attention needs to be focused on the families of those lost and on our own employees as we deal with this unspeakable tragedy. This is a very dark day for the Mercy Flight family, we are so grateful for the expressions of love, concern and support expressed by many,” said Margaret Ferrentino, Mercy Flight’s President.

“Mercy Flight has temporarily suspended operations in order to allow time for our employees to process the event, and to ensure the complete safe mechanical operation of our other helicopters pending a preliminary accident team investigation. The Mercy Flight Communications Center will remain operational and will refer any requests to other area resources who are standing by to assist,” states Scott Wooton, Mercy Flight’s Executive Vice President.

The cause of the accident has not been determined. FAA, NTSB, Bell Helicopter and Underwriter Accident Investigation teams are responding to the scene. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. 

Previously: Edgerton Road resident heard a helicopter in trouble before Mercy Flight crash in Elba

April 26, 2022 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Mercy Flight, elba, accident, news, notify.

Charlene Schultz is used to hearing helicopters over her house on Edgerton Road in Elba.  She seems to live in a flight path for both the military and Mercy Flight. So she knows what a helicopter passing overhead sounds like when all is all right.

Shortly before 1 p.m. today, she knew she heard a helicopter that was in trouble.

"The motor sounded weird," Schultz said. "You know when you start your car and it goes woo-woo? That's what it sounds like to me twice. Like it won't start. Then it went out completely. Then it came back on and I heard the Big Bang."

She speculated the pilot managed to get the motor started again as the helicopter was heading down but it was too late.

She went outside expecting to see smoke but there was no smoke.  She got in her car and drove to the scene.

"Three men stopped me and I was from here to your car (less than 50 yards) and saw what I didn't want to see. So I turned around and came back home."

Major Eugene Staniszewski, State Police, confirmed this afternoon that two crew members aboard the flight died in the crash. Their names have not yet been released.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Investigators from both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been dispatched to the scene.

"We will be here for quite a while," Staniszewski said. "This could be into tomorrow while we're still on scene and then after that, it usually takes quite a while, it could be months until they come up with a final determination (as to the cause of the crash)."

The helicopter was on a training mission, Staniszewski confirmed, and it was flying out of the Mercy base at the Genesee County Airport. 

The major said there is at least one person who saw the helicopter go down and several who heard the helicopter in the area.

One neighbor said she saw a Mercy Flight helicopter circle the area before she and her husband went to Walmart.  They only learned of the crash while at the store and returned home immediately.  Schultz, however, said she believes the helicopter that circled the scene showed up after the crash.  She said when she first saw it, she hoped it was a sign that the crew survived but then the Mercy Flight helicopter left without landing.

"We are interviewing several witnesses and local neighbors that live on this road," Staniszewski said. "We'll be working with Mercy Flight and NTSB and FAA to come up with a reason for this crash."

UPDATE:  The pilot was James E. Sauer, 60 of Churchville. The second person was a Bell Helicopter employee and pilot, Stewart M. Dietrick, 60 of Prosper, Texas. They were flying a Bell 429 that was based in Batavia. They were pronounced dead at the scene and taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.



An unidentified helicopter circled the scene an hour or so after the accident.


Power lines were cut because lines had fallen dangerously close to the helicopter, impeding the investigation.


File photo of a Mercy Flight helicopter taken April 24 at GCC following a serious injury accident at Clinton Street Road and Seven Springs Road. Photos by Howard Owens.

April 26, 2022 - 3:23pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, helicopter, elba, accident, notify.


Photo by Howard Owens

Multiple callers report a helicopter going down in the area of Norton and Edgerton roads in Elba. Elba Fire and Town of Batavia Fire, along with Mercy EMS, responding.

Genesee County Emergency Management Services has ordered the area to be closed to all unauthorized traffic.

UPDATE 2:03 P.M.: An area resident said that shortly before the crash she had seen a helicopter circling the area. It has been confirmed that it was a Mercy Flight helicopter. No information has been released yet about the crew. The crash site is at 7269 Norton Rd.


UPDATE 2:26 p.m.: National Grid removes power lines that fell on the helicopter. Photo by Howard Owens.

UPDATE 3:17 p.m.: State Police said that two crew members died in the crash; their names have not yet been released. The helicopter was on a training mission. The cause of the crash is undetermined at this time.

April 24, 2022 - 3:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander, news, accident.

Vehicle is reportedly on its roof in a ditch in the area 4036 Hunn Road, Alexander.

unknown injuries.

Alexander Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

April 24, 2022 - 12:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Le Roy.

A two-vehicle accident is reported at 8334 East Main Road, Le Roy

Unknown injuries. Traffic is blocked.

Le Roy fire and Le Roy Ambulance dispatch.

April 22, 2022 - 2:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, Stafford, notify.


A 62-year-old motorcyclist with a passenger drove into the side of a dump truck at about 12:45 p.m. today at Clinton Street Road and Seven Springs Road in Stafford.

The male driver sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown to Strong Memorial Hospital by Mercy Flight.

The female passenger was less seriously injured and transported to Strong by Mercy EMS.

Both driver and passenger were wearing helmets.

The dump truck driver was not injured.

Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, Sheriff's Office, said the dump truck was northbound on Seven Springs Road and the motorcycle was eastbound. It's unclear at this time which vehicle may have had a red light at the intersection.  The accident is under investigation.

The names of those involved have not yet been released.

The intersection was reopened and all units cleared the scene at 2:35 p.m.

UPDATE 6 p.m.: The motorcycle operator has been identified as Dana M. McGill of Batavia.  He was driving a 1998 Kawasaki. His passenger was Carrie L. Hensley, 44, of Batavia. According to investigators, McGill failed to stop for a red light. Charges are pending.  The bike struck a 2022 Mack truck operated by Jonathan Barefoot, 79, of Caledonia. The accident is being investigated by deputies Travis DeMuth, Jenna Ferrando, Jeremiah Gechel, and Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello, investigators Kevin Forsyth, Chad Minuto, Joseph Loftus, and Eric Andre, and Crash Management Team members Sgt. Jason Saile, Deputy Richard Schildwaster.  Batavia PD, State Police commercial vehicle unit, Mercy EMS, Stafford Fire, Town of Batavia Fire, and South Byron Fire, assisted at the scene.

(Initial Post)

Photos by Howard Owens.







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