A wrong way driver collides with another car on the Youngman Expressway killing both drivers. The accident shut down the I-290 for hours, finally reopening around 12noon. The accident happened after 4am. Other drivers spotted the jeep driving on the wrong side of the expressway and called 911, but by the time the police got there, the jeep hit someone head on.
The jeep was driven by a 30-year old Amherst man. Tonawanda police say he was proceeding the wrong way on the I-290 eastbound when he drove into a Jaguar driven by a woman. "We got a report of a car travelling the wrong way on the 290," said Lt. Bill Krier.
Four other cars were involved in this accident, though police still don't know who swerved what way. So investigators shut down a portion of the expressway for several hours, to reconstruct the accident scene to find out what happened. Investigators believe the wrong way driver entered the expressway somewhere in the Amherst area, either via the I-990 or the I-290 Millersport ramp and continued driving in the wrong direction for several interchanges. "It was going the wrong way from at least Millersport, and speed is a factor at this point as well," said Krier.
Police are investigating whether alcohol played a role in this double fatal accident. The drivers of the other car are OK, though at least one person was taken to the hospital. Some moderate damage was done to those cars, though all remained upright. However the two main vehicles involved were totalled, and debris lay scattered on the roadway. From the accident scene, police will try to piece together what happened. "We're collecting evidence and taking photographs," said Krier.
Tonawanda police investigators are not releasing the names of either of the drivers, until their families are notified. The autopsies will be done on Monday at ECMC.