Police Seek Driver Responsible For Fiery Crash In Chautauqua County

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SHERIDAN – Law enforcement in Chautauqua County are seeking the driver responsible for causing a fiery crash on Tuesday.

The crash happened on Route 20 near Aldrich Road in the Town of Sheridan after a TPS fuel truck struck a wheel that fell off of a van headed in the other direction of travel on the two-laned roadway.

The truck then collided with a pickup in the oncoming lane. The force of the impact, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office reports, sent the fuel truck partially over the Thruway bridge where the accident occurred.

As a result, around 100 gallons of diesel fuel ignited causing intense flames to break out.

Two people, the truck’s driver 30-year-old Jean Esquilin-Melendez, and pickup’s driver 40-year-old Herbert Overbeck, were able to escape their respective vehicles.

Esquilin-Melendez was taken via STAT Medevac to ECMC for treatment of burns and injuries he suffered while Overbeck was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for care.

The driver of the van fled the scene, and as of Wednesday morning, is sought by deputies.


1 Comment

  1. Release the name and photo of the owner of the van. Speak to witnesses to verify if they said owner was at the scene. If so charge him. If not get info from vans owner as to who the culprit was. DRIVER OF VAN NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS/ACTIONS AND LACK OF..

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