2012-02-15 / Front Page

Police investigating fatal crash

by KEATON T. DEPRIEST Associate Editor

Amherst police are currently investigating two vehicle collisions that occurred Saturday, with one of the incidents ending in the death of a North Tonawanda woman.

Capt. Patrick McKenna of the Amherst Police Accident Investigation Unit said a two-vehicle crash occurred at approximately 3:29 p.m. on Sweet Home Road, south of the Rensch Road entrance to the University at Buffalo.

McKenna said Patricia A. Amato, 55, was driving south on Sweet Home Road when her 1996 Buick swerved into the northbound lanes and struck a 1998 Ford truck driven by Ernest W. Kihl, 55, of Amherst.

He said Amato was immediately transported to Erie County Medical Center where she later died as a result of her injuries.

McKenna said Kihl was transported to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

“Snow-covered roads may be a factor in the crash, which is being investigated by the Accident Investigation Unit,” he said.

Lt. John Olesko and Officer Todd Seier are leading the investigation.

In an unrelated incident, McKenna said a three-vehicle collision occurred at approximately 7:06 p.m. on Interstate 290.

“Richard D. Abwender of North Tonawanda was operating a 1995 Dodge westbound on the I-290 and reports seeing an emergency vehicle operating its lights and siren coming from the rear,” McKenna said.

He said Abwender changed lanes and struck a 2001 Mitsubishi, which was sent into a spin. McKenna said the emergency vehicle was a Border Patrol Chevrolet driven by Jonathan Gregoire. The Chevrolet collided with the Mitsubishi, which was operated by Evelyn Terry of Williamsport, Pa.

McKenna said Terry and her passenger, Robert Brown, also of Williamsport, were transported to Erie County Medical Center where as of Sunday afternoon they were listed in stable condition.

“The I-290 was reduced to a single lane while accident investigators worked at the scene,” McKenna said. “It was reopened at 1:30 a.m.”

Amherst Police Senior Investigator Kevin Murphy is leading the investigation into the incident.

Anyone who may have witnessed either crash is asked to call 689-1311.

email: kdepriest@beenews.com

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