ROUND LAKE, N.Y. - Members of the Round Lake Fire Department spent Tuesday evening tearing pieces of a mangled Ford Explorer off of a tree located alongside southbound I-87, following a deadly crash.
The crash occured around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening on southbound I-87 between exits 10 and 11. The driver, 27-year-old Christopher Harvey, of Malta, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say the vehicle driven by Harvey was going at a high rate of speed when the operator attempted to pass a tractor trailer using the right shoulder area of the roadway. The vehicle then left the roadway, struck a
highway sign and continued up an embankment, where it struck a
tree and came to rest alongside the shoulder.
The vehicle was split into two pieces, police say. Half the vehicle was wrapped around the tree the other half sat a short distance away crunched up in a ditch.
"The top half of the car was cut off as a result of the accident," said Lt. Joseph Plewinski, of the Round Lake Fire Department, who was one of the first responders on scene.
They found a pocket book and shoes at the scene, leading them to believe there could have been another person in the car.
"There were indications of a female passenger so we undertook a search of this whole area with thermal imagery cameras to see if we can locate that individual, police made contact and ascertained that she wasn't here," said Plewinski.
Traffic was backed up for miles as investigators shut down multiple lanes.
"It's a combination of speed, not paying attention, momentary lapse in high rates of speed, 70 miles an hour, and your off the road fairly quickly," said Plewinski, who emphasizes how careful you have to be behind the wheel at all times.