TOWN OF PORTER, NY
The collision happened in the Town of Porter in Niagara County. The driver of the car lost control of the vehicle after trying to pass another car. Neighbors are shaken by the tragedy and say it is an all too familiar scene.
"I don't even begin to understand. I would just say they go too fast down this road," said Carol Badger, a nearby resident.
That road is Youngstown-Lockport Road in the Town of Porter where authorities say at 12:30 Saturday afternoon, the driver of a car full of teenagers lost control trying to pass another car and slammed into a tree. A total of five teens were in the vehicle, including the driver. Two were pronounced dead at the scene, two others taken to ECMC and the remaining teenager to Newfane Hospital.
"It does seem that speed played a factor in the crash. Again it's a very tragic chain of events that occurred and we are in the process of trying to reconstruct the accident," said Chief Deputy Stephen Price, of the Niagara County Sheriff's office.
The woman in the car the teens were trying to pass was stopped and preparing to turn into Baker Farms. She was not hit or injured. Barbara Baker is co-owner of Baker Farms and helped the woman after the crash.
"She was very upset. She sat in her car, we got her some water and we called her husband and he came down and took her home. She was very, very upset about the whole thing. And she didn't cause it, she just was turning in and I guess he was going at a very high rate of speed," said Baker.
Speed is something Carol Badger has seen cause many accidents over the 35 years she has lived on Lockport Road.
"There were actually two in my ditch...terrible rollover accidents ending up in the ditch. One on my lawn, one in the middle of the lawn of the neighbors right next door," said
And add today's crash to that list, which landed in her front yard.
"I don't even see any skid marks on the road. It looks like they actually left the road, hit my neighbors ditch and flew right over here 'till that tree stopped them," said Baker.
The Niagara Sheriff's Office released the names of the victims late Saturday night. Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Campbell of Youngstown and 17-year-old Taylor Messing of Niagara Falls both died at the scene. The driver of the car, 19-year-old John Schmitz of Ransomville is in stable condition at ECMC. Seventeen-year-old Keith Burns also of Ransomville is in stable condition at ECMC, and an unidentified 15-year-old female was treated and released from ECMC.