OGDENSBURG Three people were killed and two injured in a head-on collision involving a compact car and a minivan about 10 a.m. Friday on Route 37 near the Stonefence Resort and Motel.
Police said they would release the names of those involved in the accident today.
State police Lt. Kevin J. Boyea said a Chevrolet Cruze heading toward Ogdensburg inexplicably swerved into the opposite lane and hit an oncoming Dodge Caravan in an area where the posted speed limit is 45 mph.
Three people in the Cruze died in the crash. The driver of the Caravan and a passenger in the car were injured and taken from the scene in ambulances.
Anytime there is a head-on collision, there is serious force involved, Lt. Boyea said.
Frank D. and Terri E. Howie witnessed the accident. They were following the Cruze in their car when, Mr. Howie said, the driver swerved into the oncoming lane.
He acted like he was going to pass but there was no car in front of him, Mr. Howie said.
It was like they did it on purpose, Mrs. Howie said.
Mr. and Mrs. Howie got out of their car to check on the accident victims before asking a neighbor to call 911. Mr. Howie said it appeared that the three who were killed died immediately. A fourth person in the Cruze was alive but suffering from serious injuries, he said. He said the driver of the minivan was conscious and bleeding.
A state police accident reconstruction team from Ray Brook arrived shortly after 11 a.m. Route 37 was closed from County Route 6 to Lee Road.
An autopsy was started at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center on the driver of the Cruze, St. Lawrence County Coroner Russell B. Lawrence III said.
We dont know if it was driver inattention; we dont know if it was a medical issue, Mr. Lawrence said.
He said he hoped to know more once the autopsy is complete.