TOWN OF SCHROEPPEL, NY – New York State Police have released information regarding a fatal three-vehicle accident on NYS Route 481.
Onondaga County 911 received a call around 11 a.m. today (Nov 7) reporting a small, dark colored sedan traveling northbound on NYS Route 481 when it “crossed over into the center median, across the southbound lanes and into the brush on the west side of the highway. Witnesses then reported the vehicle began to back up through the brush and begin to drive north in the southbound lanes,” the press release said.
The vehicle, a 2004 Toyota Corolla, continued driving in the wrong direction even after driving around a State Police vehicle attempting to stop the wrong way vehicle in the southbound lanes near State Route 31.
“The 2004 Toyota Corolla, then struck a 2008 Dodge Avenger head-on causing the Toyota to spin into the path of a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country minivan,” according to State Police.
The driver of the Corolla driving in the wrong direction, Bruce R. Dury, 68, from 477 James St., Syracuse, was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Two passengers in the Dodge Avenger, Louise A. Porter, 69, and her twin sister, Linda M. Robillard, 69, were also pronounced deceased at the scene.
The driver of the Dodge Avenger, Ronald M. Porter, 70, from Fulton, NY, was transported to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse with internal injuries and was listed in stable condition.
The operator of the Chrysler minivan, Mark S. Visconti, 55, from Elmira, NY, was treated at the scene and released.
Oswego County Today heard from multiple witnesses to the accident.
Two people that had witnessed the entire accident gave statements to NYS Police regarding what they had seen after calling 911.
One witness said he was traveling north on NYS Route 481 with his wife when they both saw a vehicle traveling north in the southbound lane.
The statement detailed that the witness’ wife called 911 at 11:03 a.m. as he tried to speed up to stay with the vehicle, but was unable to get close enough to make out a license plate number from across the median.
“He was not making any attempt to get out of the way of any of the cars that were coming toward him,” the witness said in his statement.
“We were traveling at 65 mph and the vehicle was going much faster than we were,” his wife said in her statement.
She recalled people trying to flash their lights and wave to the driver out of their windows to encourage him to stop his vehicle.
“I had to catch my breath. That was the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed,” she told Oswego County Today. “We couldn’t get across the road to help, it was awful.”
Another witness, Ordale Hughes Cogan was driving southbound on NYS Route 481 with Daryl Brown as a passenger.
Cogan was nearing Clay, NY, in the southbound lanes of Route 481 when she saw a car approaching her driving in the wrong direction while at the same time Brown noticed a state trooper on the northbound side with his lights on keeping up with the driver on the southbound side.
Cogan said she was able to pull over to the shoulder of the road along with two cars behind her to avoid being hit by the oncoming vehicle when she saw the driver who “drove by us like everything was alright,” she said.
“We were very nervous he might try to hit us and then very concerned about the people behind us. Then when we saw we couldn’t get back onto North 481 to go home, we were very sad because we knew something bad happened,” Cogan said.
State Police in Fulton are continuing the investigation of the accident.