A driver told investigators that he was singing to his 18-month-old daughter, and briefly looked at her at the back seat before his 2002 Acura sedan crossed the center line on Route 33 in Stafford at 9:23 a.m., last Friday, and struck an oncoming truck that was hauling garbage.
Alexander P. Ortiz, 22, of Canary Street, Rochester, was cited for driving without insurance, driving with an expired inspection, driving left of pavement markers, unlicensed operation, and driving on a suspended registration.
His baby daughter, Elle A. Ortiz, who was placed properly in a child safety seat in the backseat of the car, was uninjured but was transported to UMMC for evaluation.
The Acura clipped at 2019 Mack truck driving by R.W. Kellen II, 40, of North Road, Scottsville. The impact caused the driver-side front tire to be torn from the vehicle and Kellen lost control of the truck. It crossed the oncoming lane of traffic, the westbound lane, and left the roadway, flipping onto its side and dumping its load of garbage on the roadway and onto the field as it slid out of control.
A third vehicle, a 2010 Nissan sedan, driven by Alexander Boehlig, 17, struck some of the debris, causing damage to the front bumper and windshield.
Boehlig, from Bergen, was uninjured.
The accident was investigated by Deputy Kenneth Quackenbush.
You might say it takes a community to pull 80,000 pounds of cement truck and cement out of a ditch after it overturns.
That's what happened Wednesday when crews from Dan's Tire, Dickinson's Auto Service, and L&L Transmission, came together to figure out a way to recover a cement truck that had crashed on Route 98 in Batavia after blowing out a tire.
"They (the truck owner) requested that we go out there and remove their truck with the least damage possible without cutting up their truck because they want to keep the loss on it as minimal as possible," said Steve Grice, towing operations manager for Dan's Tire. "They were also concerned about the property owner and not any further damage to their property, which Tony Scalia is taking care of tomorrow, restoring their property."
The crew was Grice, T.J. DiLaura, Jesse Repass, and Matt Scott, from Dan's Tire, and Chad Dickinson, Bob Dickinson, Bobbie Dickinson, and Steve Dorf from Dickinson's Auto Service, Cameron Selapack from L&L Transmission.
Grice said between Dan's and Dickinson, he thinks they had the two largest wreckers in the county on the scene to deal with a truck and a full mix barrel weighing an estimated 80,000 pounds.
"I know it was a huge safety concern of the fire department and everybody," Grice said. "To our knowledge, everyone was happy that everything was done safely. The road was closed down for a short period of time. Once the truck was upright on the roadside, we had one lane opened up and within an hour that the road was open and clear for public traffic."
Dickinson's used their 45-ton "King Kong," with its 90,000-pound capacity, and Dan's it's "Big Black" with 50- to 100,000-pound capacity. King Kong took control of the mix barrel and crews were able to lift it back onto the frame of the truck and safely chain it to the truck. Big Black was able to hook onto the front of the truck and then the two trucks "walked" it back and forth onto the shoulder of the roadway.
After repairing airlines and refilling the truck's suspension to be able to handle the load, Big Black held the truck stable while King Kong moved to the front end and lifted it so the broken axle could be removed. After repositioning the truck, Dickinson's was able to safely tow it to the owner's property on East Main Street.
Grice said Wreck Master's was on speed dial to help with any weight calculations during the operation.
"It was a combined effort and combined brains came up with the proper way to safely remove it without causing further damage," Grice said. "I know someone brought up one point they were concerned for safety because of the weight we were dealing with.
"At no point at any time was anybody's safety in jeopardy. Everyone knew the weight they were dealing with; what had to be done; and the safest way to do it."
Photo: Steve Grice, Chad Dickinson, and Bob Dickinson.
Below, video provided by Steve Grice showing a little of the operation to get the truck out of the ditch. Photos below courtesy Steve Grice.
A one-vehicle rollover accident is reported in the area of 5589 Paul Road, Bethany.
The driver is reportedly out of the vehicle and walking around but may have suffered a head injury.
Bethany fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.
UPDATE 11:59 a.m.: A first responder on scene reports a car is off the road in a field, overturned. Patient is conscious and alert, with minor abrasions on his head.
UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: The male driver is being transported to UMMC. He is complaining of a stabbing feeling of pain in his neck. His vehicle rolled several times. He did not lose consciousness and self-extricated from the accident.
A possible serious injury accident is reported on Clinton Street Road just east of Ivison Road in Stafford involving a car and a semi-truck.
Stafford Fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.
UPDATE 9:28 a.m.: It is now reported as a minor injury accident with heavy debris in the roadway.
UPDATE(S) (By Billie) 9:45 a.m.: The accident involved a car and a truck hauling trash. The trash is strewn all over the roadway. Fire police from Byron and South Byron are there as mutual aid to provide traffic control so the debris can be removed. Route 33 at Route 237 is shut down; so it traffic at Coward Road and Route 33.
UPDATE 10:09 a.m.: An 18-month-old female, who was appropriately seated and strapped in the rear passenger side of the car, is being transported to UMMC for evaluation.
UPDATE 11:08 a.m.: A second ambulance is called to the scene.
UPDATE 11:29 a.m.: The roadways are reopened. The Stafford assignment is back in service. But the cleanup will continue off the roadway.
A car vs. pole accident is reported at Clinton Street Road and Jericho Road. Lines are down in both roadways and blocking. Injuries are belived to be minor. Traffic control will be needed. Bergen fire, Mercy medics and law enforcement are responding.
"Send me a full crew out here. Pole's sheared in half." Power lines, telephone and possibly cable lines are across the roads. National Grid will be called. A flatbed tow truck will be called to remove the vehicle, which is in a wooded area 35-40 feet off the road.
UPDATE 1:57 p.m.: No ETA for National Grid. Byron Repair will have a tow there in 20 to 30 minutes.
In the six months since Kim Albanese learned of her mother's and brother's death in an accident on a snow-covered road on Route 98 in Elba, it hasn't stopped hurting, she said today during a stop at the accident scene where she placed some flowers in memory of Teresa M. Norton.
Norton would have turned 54 today.
In the six months since the accident, Albanese has given birth to a daughter. She also suffered the loss of her stepfather, who was the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital when he learned that his wife of 30 years and son had died.
"It still feels like a nightmare like still trying to put the pieces back together," Albanese said. "It's so hard. It feels like yesterday that they died. I still pick up my phone and go to call her or receive a phone call from her."
Norton and her son Thomas, 22, were northbound on Oak Orchard Road when she lost control of her 2008 Suzuki on a stretch of roadway that was heavily covered by drifting snow. Her Suzuki was broadsided by a pickup truck driven by Jeffrey S. Toussaint, 59, of Albion.
"That accident destroyed three families not just ours, but the guy that hit her," Albanese said. "We feel horrible because he was an innocent party in the whole thing. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. We don't blame him at all."
Given the conditions of the road and the lack of information forthcoming from the Department of Transporation about road conditions at that time, Albanese has retained an attorney, Jon Wilson, of Buffalo.
Wilson confirmed a lawsuit has been filed.
"The State answered and served various discovery demands and we are in the process of responding to those demands," Wilson said.
Albanese said telling her stepfather of his wife's and son's deaths was one of the hardest things she's ever had to do.
The whole process has been difficult.
"You watch it on the news and you're like, 'Oh that stinks for their family. I feel bad. My heart goes out.' But when it happens to your own family -- I lost my whole family in that instant, in that split second -- and I think the hardest part is I got stuck in the detour," Albanese said. "I was just at that light and I could see the tow trucks lights.
"But it was up on the hill, just right where I couldn't see my mom's truck. And I was like 'well, that's good maybe.' People tell me it was a good thing you didn't because I didn't go into labor because I could've had my daughter at 29 weeks pregnant."
Her fiancé, Cory Vanameron, said Albanese is a strong woman to go through what she's gone through. He said he's a bit older, more experience at life, he's been through the death of loved ones before but she doesn't see how she carries on.
"I couldn't do it," he said.
"I had my daughter two months after the accident," Albanese said. "(My mom) never once got to hold her. She never once got to see her. She was so excited to have a granddaughter and now just to look at my daughter, knowing she would never experience my mom, it's heartbreaking."