ELLINGTON – One person was killed after a diesel tanker hit a Jeep Grand Cherokee early Friday morning on Route 83 in the Town of Ellington, according to Ellington Fire Department Chief Stephen Rexford.
Rexford told WNYNewsNow the driver of the Jeep, later identified by New York State Police as Conewango Valley resident Ramon Spunagle, 23, was found deceased in his vehicle following the crash.
The operator of the diesel tanker, Steven D. Warner, was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for evaluation. Rexford said the man only sustained minor bruising in the collision.
Following an investigation by New York State Police, troopers determined that the Jeep, traveling southbound, drifted across the center line striking the semi who was traveling northbound. Police said Warner attempted to avoid the collision.
Police said the deceased was taken to Erie County Medical Center for an autopsy.
Route 83 between Hunt Road and Church Street is expected to be closed for several hours as HAZMAT crews clear the scene.
“The Chautauqua County HAZMAT team has been here. The contractor for NOCO is here to secure the vehicle and clean up the diesel fuel,” said Rexford. “They are going to offload the trailer and then the wreckers will tip it over and get it back on the road.”
Crews originally responded to the call shortly after 1:30 a.m. when a New York State Trooper on patrol came across the crash. Rexford said the driver of the tanker also walked to a nearby house to call for help.
Cherry Creek, Kennedy, Chautauqua County EMS, Chautauqua County Emergency Services HAZMAT, the Incident Response Mitigation Services for Portville and Trans AM Ambulance Services assisted Ellington firefighters on scene.
New York State Police said no charges are expected at this time.