Police try to figure out cause of triple fatal crash

Police try to figure out cause of triple fatal crash
State police say three people have been killed in a head-on collision between a U-Haul van and a pickup truck in Orleans County, two of them from northern New York. (Source: Credit: Video News Service)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - State police are awaiting autopsy results in hopes that it will explain why three people, including two north country men, were killed in a crash in western New York.

Troopers said 80 year old Charles Stevens of Black River was driving a U-Haul van on State Highway 63 in the town of Shelby at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday when it crossed the center line and struck an oncoming pickup truck. Both vehicles then caught fire.

Stevens and a passenger in his vehicle, 57 year old Jeffrey Johnson of Carthage, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash also killed 73 year old Gordon Tooley of Holley, New York.

State police said Monday they're trying to determine if a medical problem or distracted driving caused Stevens to cross into the oncoming lane. Officials are waiting for the results of an autopsy.

Funeral arrangements for Stevens have been finalized.

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