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7-year-old Sinclairville Elementary School first grader killed in Chautauqua County crash

State Police: vehicle struck while waiting to turn
Posted at 8:20 PM, Feb 24, 2020

POMFRET, N.Y. (WKBW) — "I knew that he was trying to do everything in his power to save her. Whoever was on the scene, they were doing what they had to do." said Giovanni Pena. Pena is talking the crash that killed seven-year-old Emmaline Wilcox Monday afternoon.

The crash happened on State Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret shortly after 4 p.m. State Police said Wilcox, who was in the backseat of her mother's Kia, was stopped in the northbound lane, when they were rear-ended by a Hyundai. The Kia was pushed into the southbound lane, where it was hit by a tractor trailer going south.

Pena said he drove by moments after it happened, and decided to come back to the scene Tuesday to pay his respects to Emmaline's family.

"She didn't have to be my daughter for me to feel this way. It could happen to anybody," Pena said.

Wilcox was pronounced dead at Brooks Memorial Hospital. The 35-year-old driver was not seriously injured.

The Cassadaga Valley Central School District said Wilcox was a first grader at Sinclairville Elementary School.

It is important to understand that our Crisis Intervention Team met to prepare to support our students and staff when they arrive to school this morning, and counselors will be available throughout the next few days. Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family and all those impacted by this tragedy at this difficult time.

The crash remains under investigation. It's unclear whether any of the drivers involved will face charges.