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Police investigating deadly accident in upstate New York

Police in New York are trying to determine what caused a 16-year-old boy to cross into the path of oncoming traffic on the morning of Oct. 3 on Interstate 81 in Onondaga County. The subsequent accident left the boy critically injured and cost his 16-year-old passenger his life. Reports indicate that police have found no evidence of alcohol consumption, and officers say that the teen's cellphone records will be examined to find out if the device was in use at the time of the crash. The accident took place in the southbound lanes of Interstate 81 north of the Interstate 481 exit in Cicero at approximately 6:31 a.m.

Police say that the teen was proceeding northbound on Interstate 81 when his Scion sedan went across a grassy median and into the path of southbound traffic. The car was then struck first by a Volvo sedan and then by a Ford van. A motorist and a passing jogger stopped to help, and paramedics arrived shortly thereafter to transport the two teenagers in the Scion and the 51-year-old man behind the wheel of the Saab to a nearby hospital. The Scion's 16-year-old male passenger was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The accident caused the southbound lanes of I-81 to be shut down for several hours. While maintenance crews towed away the damaged Scion and cleared debris from the roadway, members of a New York State Police accident reconstruction team arrived to begin their investigation. Police say that chief among their priorities will be determining how fast the Scion was traveling when it left the northbound lanes of I-81.

Accidents involving drivers who stray into the path of oncoming traffic are often caused by fatigue, distraction or impairment. Personal injury attorneys seeking to establish negligence in lawsuits filed on behalf of auto accident victims may turn to police reports for evidence of impairment or intoxication, but they may have to look further for indications of distraction or fatigue. Cellphone records sometimes may sometimes be useful, and information recovered from vehicle data recorders and footage captured by traffic and security cameras could also shed more light on the sequence of events.

Source: Syracuse.com, Police identify teen killed in crash on I-81 in Cicero, Catie O'Toole, Oct. 3, 2016

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