UB alum, current student die in Route 36 accident
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2013 23:07
A UB graduate and a current student died Tuesday when their 1995 Jeep Wrangler crashed with a tractor trailer at the intersection of Route 36 and North Road in Wheatland, N.Y. The other three passengers in the vehicle survived and are in “satisfactory condition.”
21-year-old Taylor Binnert and 20-year-old Christopher Peterson were pronounced dead at the scene. Binnert, who graduated from UB in May, was driving the vehicle. Peterson, an engineering student, was in the front seat.
18-year-olds Emily Peterson and Michela Murphy and 20-year-old Joanne Krutchen, who were in the back seat, were thrown from the vehicle upon impact and taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
The five victims were from Caledonia, N.Y., and were on their way home from volunteering at a Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) summer school program in which they worked with special needs children in Batavia, according to WHAM News.
Investigators believe Binnert rolled through the two-way stop sign, thinking it was an all-way stop sign, and collided with the tractor trailer going 55-60 miles per hour. The tractor trailer’s driver, who didn’t have time to stop, reportedly tried to assist first responders in caring for the three backseat passengers.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office does not suspect alcohol use or drug use were related to the incident. The investigation is ongoing. Caledonia residents say the intersection is dangerous, according to WHAM.
“Just knowing that they were doing what they were doing, it tells you a lot about them,” Mayor Joseph Caluorie told WHAM. “They weren’t hanging out for the summer. They were helping people and that just supports what I said. They were good kids. They are good kids. Definitely.”
On Tuesday night, the Caledonia-Mumford School District, which includes the high school from which all five victims graduated, announced grief counselors will be available Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school. It also announced the “small, tight-knit community” would cooperate to support the victims’ families.