Three family members, aged 10, 14 and 47, died and several more were injured last night after a tractor trailer crashed struck two cars stopped for traffic in the southbound lane of the Thruway, about three miles south of Exit 19.
Police responded at approximately 8:30 p.m. Investigation at the scene revealed that Luc Leblanc, 61, of Sala derry-de-val, Quebec, was operating a 2010 Volvo tractor trailer, in the right lane when he encountered traffic stopped in front of him at mile marker 88.3. Leblanc attempted to avoid the collision but ultimately struck the rear of a 2012 Honda Accord. The front of the tractor trailer caused extensive damage to the rear passenger compartment upon contact and continued to push the Honda approximately 500 feet before coming to rest in the grass off the western shoulder of the highway.
As the tractor trailer was pushing the Honda off the roadway, it also struck the rear passenger side of a 2007 Kia Sedona minivan which exited the roadway onto the east shoulder.
Leblanc was not injured in the crash.
The driver of the Kia, 26-year-old Maheshwarnauth Karan, declined medical treatment at the scene. Passengers of the Kia, 27-year-old Sangeeta Singh, was transported to Kingston Hospital and 45-year-old Saleema Salim, was transported to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, both for minor injuries. 48-year-old passenger, Ramnarine Singh, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center. A 5-year-old child in the vehicle was not injured.
The driver of the Honda Accord, 24-year-old Neta Singh, was transported to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital and front seat passenger, 18-year-old Saleena Singh, was transported to Vassar Brothers Medical Center, both for minor injuries.
Three rear seat passengers of the Honda, 10-year-old Justin Gayapersad, 47-year-old Zulika Salim, and 14-year-old Chelsea Gayapersad, were pronounced deceased at the scene.
The occupants of the Honda Accord and Kia Sedona were all family members from the Bronx.
Troop F BCI, FIU (Forensic Investigation Unit), CVEU (Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit) and CRU (Collision Reconstruction Unit) responded for scene processing. Troop F Uniform Troopers also responded to assist with traffic control. The southbound lane of the Thruway remained closed for several hours and traffic was diverted off the Thruway at the Kingston exit until reconstruction was completed.
The accident currently remains under investigation. State Police are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Investigator Joseph Temple at (845) 802-9296.