Three people are dead after a two-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon on Route 342 between its intersection with Route 37 and Interstate 81 in the town of Pamelia.
An injured toddler was taken to a hospital by Lifenet helicopter, and a 64-year-old woman was taken to an unnamed local hospital.
According to the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, the crash took place at 2:22 p.m., when a black 1995 Honda sedan traveling west on the road crossed the double center line to overtake an uninvolved vehicle and lost control, hitting a blue 2003 Ford truck that was going east. At the scene Saturday afternoon, Sheriff John P. Burns said the two vehicles collided head-on, or close to it.
The department on Saturday night said two males, ages 25 and 28, and a 36-year-old female died at the scene. The department in a news release did not identify the names of any of the victims of the crash, citing a need to notify their families, or which vehicle the victims were in.
A large blue tarp was draped over the vehicles minutes after the crash occurred, blocking from view much of the extensive damage to both vehicles.
The road from the intersection between the two roadways and Interstate 81 was closed for hours as law enforcement investigated the scene.
A group of people near the scene when the crash took place described multiple injuries to the occupants of the sedan.
Crystal M. Sadipe had just made a purchase at Allens Liquor and Wine, Route 342, when she heard the screech and crash from across the street.
Mrs. Sadipe, store employee Allana D. Dilworth and a third woman the two could not identify ran to the vehicles, as another store employee, Robin J. Perritt, called 911.
Getting to the black sedan, Mrs. Sadipe said she could see the cars passengers, but not its driver in the wreck. Mrs. Sadipe said she saw the female toddler sitting silently with cuts to her legs and attempted to keep her awake by holding her hand and playing with her hair. At that point, the toddler cried, a sign to her that she was still conscious and breathing.
Thank God she was buckled in to her car seat, Mrs. Sadipe said.
Ms. Dilworth said a young adult male seated behind the driver was disoriented, with a door slammed into his chest. She said the male attempted to pick his head up, but she told him to stay still to avoid additional injury.
The two said they were not able to check the condition of the driver of the blue pickup truck, who they described as an older woman.
Assisting the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department at the scene were state police, the Jefferson County Medical Examiners Office, the North Pole, Pamelia and Calcium fire departments, along with Evans Mills and Guilfoyle Ambulance.