7 Dead In Upstate N.Y.: What Caused The Tragic Minivan, Tractor Trailer Collision? [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on May 30, 2013 1:35 PM EDT

7 dead
7 dead in upstate N.Y. after a horrific crash involving a minivan and tractor trailer. (Photo: YouTube)

Seven victims died and one survived in upstate New York after a freak accident involving a tractor trailer and van collision on Route 13 just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Among the seven dead were four young children under the age of ten. The three adults were in their 20s, said authorities on Thursday.

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The devastating accident occurred in the town of rural Truxton, just 25 miles south of Syracuse. The Cortland County Sheriff's Office declined to release the names of the victims as investigation on the incident continues. An injured man was escorted to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment. Information regarding the status and condition of the injured man is unknown.

According to News Max, Town of Cuyler fire commissioner Douglas Randall was directing traffic about a mile north of the crash site when he saw distraught family members of the victims being escorted away from the scene.

"They were all meeting down the road at a family member's house," said Douglas Randall. "They were all hysterical."

According to authorities, the van was struck by a trailer hauling crushed cars that had broken away from the truck. Without the tractor to slow the trailer down, there was zero possibility for the accident to be avoided. A sitting duck, the minivan was torn apart by the violent impact of the runaway trailer.

Two people were in the big wheeler when the incident occurred. They emerged from the accident without injury.

According to Cortland County Coroner Whitney Meeker, the children were from two different families, including one from the town of Truxton.

The deadly crash on Route 13 caused a two-lane shut down until as late as 1:20 a.m. Authorities continue to investigate the incident as crews remove the remaining debris and wreckage from the site of the crash.

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