Crashes Claim Lives

Sheriff’s Office Investigating Pair Of Rollovers

The driver of a semi tractor-trailer cab was killed in a rollover crash Wednesday morning on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Two separate rollover crashes claimed the lives of two drivers in the town of North Harmony on Wednesday.

The crashes kept first responders — including volunteer firefighters, Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputies and fire police — busy for most of the morning and early afternoon.

At 4:10 a.m., deputies and firefighters from Ashville, Bemus Point and Chautauqua were called to the eastbound lane on Interstate 86 for a two-car crash. Fire officials arrived to find one of the vehicles involved on its roof.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as 66-year-old Tommy L. Hyde of Warsaw, Wyoming County, was pronounced dead at the scene by a county coroner.

Members of the county Accident Reconstruction Team remained on the interstate for several hours. The road was reopened to traffic by 10 a.m.

The pickup truck involved in Wednesday morning’s crash on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony. The crash remains under investigation, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said. P-J photo by Eric Tichy

Around 10:10 a.m., firefighters and police were alerted to a crash between a semi tractor-trailer cab and a pickup truck on Route 394. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the pickup failed to stop at a stop sign at Magnolia Stedman Road and struck the cab, which was traveling on Route 394.

The cab rolled onto its roof; the driver, who was not identified, was pronounced dead by a coroner.

The driver of the pickup, who also has not been identified, was transported to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of unknown injuries.

Lou Acquisto was in his yard along Route 394 when he heard the crash.

“I heard the squealing of the breaks, the bouncing of the breaks and tires hitting the pavement,” Acquisto told The Post-Journal. “I heard the crash, and then I heard another loud thud. I went up there and saw where that big truck was on its top. The driver of the pickup truck did get out and walked around but they took him to the hospital.”

Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone issued the following statement Wednesday evening:

“Today we had two serious automobile accidents that resulted in fatalities. Our condolences go out to family members of these individuals. Chautauqua County is blessed to have such dedicated volunteer fire departments that respond to these tragedies. Both accidents occurred in Ashville Fire Department’s jurisdiction, however, several other fire departments, the County HazMat Team and County Emergency Services assisted at both scenes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and our Emergency Responders.”

Both crashes remain under investigation, the Sheriff’s Office said.