ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — An 11-year-old and a 4-year-old are dead while another 8-year-old child is injured after a crash Wednesday morning in Rochester that police described as “terrible and tragic.”
The two-vehicle crash took place near the intersection of Lyell Avenue and Mount Read Boulevard. Rochester police, firefighters, and AMR responded around 9:45 a.m.
Rochester police said one of the vehicles had four occupants; one 30-year-old woman and her three children. The other had just one adult occupant, a man in his 20s.
According to officials, it appears all three children were ejected from the vehicle that was T-boned at the intersection. The mother who was driving, sustained facial lacerations in the process.
Commander Bello said two of the children were pronounced dead at the scene. He said the third child was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He said the two adults had injuries that were described as non-life-threatening.
Officials did not identify the names, or ages of the people involved, and didn’t say if they were related, but said all five people involved in the crash are from Rochester.
“The children’s ages range from very young, to adolescence,” Commander Bello said.
Police say it’s “way too early” to see if there will be any arrests in connection to this incident as investigators are working to collect evidence like surveillance video and witness statements.
“One of the vehicles was traveling northbound on Mount Read, making the left turn, when they collided,” Commander Bello said. “No information yet on who had the red or green light. The car with the children was making a left turn from southbound on Mount Read.”
Rochester police said the crash was a heartbreaking and an emotional scene.
“This was an incredibly difficult scene,” Bello said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone and especially the families involved. As we go into the holiday season, to have deceased children … it’s just crushing. I have two kids at home, this is bothersome. Talking to responders here, we’re working on getting resources available for assistance and for the overall wellness of them. This is incredible distressing for everyone involved.”
Greg Putrone owns Wilshire Restaurant & Catering on Lyell Avenue. He said he saw a man on the scene after the crash who he presumed was the children’s father. He said he could hear his screams from inside his business down the road.
“When he arrived and saw what was happening, you could hear him screaming from 100 yards away. It was horrible. I just can’t even imagine what he’s going through with the holidays upon us. It’s all very sad,” Putrone said.
Putrone also said the traffic light at the Lyell Avenue intersection was changed around 6 months ago. He said it used to work as a normal traffic light but now for those looking to turn left, it gives a flashing yellow arrow instead.
“We all assumed because we’ve been coming to work every day for a long time that yellow light probably caused that, because it’s a blinking light when you’re making a left turn and the other oncoming traffic has a green and since that light has been like that for about 6 months, we know that there have been multiple accidents,” Putrone said.
Reginald Miller also works at Wilshire Restaurant & Catering. He says he’s had the same frustration with the traffic light.
“I’ve noticed the yellow flashing light. I actually took it yesterday. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to take it or not. It was kind of confusing because it just blinks. I didn’t know if I was supposed to take it or if I was supposed to stop,” Miller said.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.