New York: drunk driver set off 6-vehicle chain reaction wreck


Town of LaFayette, New York (March 26, 2011) – Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin E. Walsh reports that a Syracuse man has been charged with driving while intoxicated after causing a chain reaction crash on Route 81.
On March 25th at approximately 9:30pm, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a chain reaction crash involving five cars and a tractor trailer on Route 81 north, just north of the LaFayette exit. Witnesses to the crash report that a 2000 Mercury Sable, operated by Alexander Nicklaw (26), of 516 Salisbury Park Drive in Syracuse, was traveling north on Route 81 when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the guardrail subsequently causing a chain of crashes.
Nicklaw’s car and four other vehicle’s sustained extensive damage forcing sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation, to close the northbound lane between LaFayette and the Nedrow exit. The Sheriff’s Air-1 helicopter illuminated the highway while firefighters and rescue crews from the LaFayette Fire Department assisted those injured in the crash.
Nicklaw was charged with driving while intoxicated and issued an appearance ticket to appear in the Town of LaFayette Court on April 13, 2010. The highway reopened shortly after 11:00 pm.
Crash sequence
1. 2000 Mercury operated by Nicklaw crashes into guardrail after spinning 180 degrees. Nicklaw’s car comes to rest facing south in the left lane of Route 81 north.
2. Pickup truck operated by Edward Neill (59) of Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, swerves to avoid Nicklaw and swipes Nicklaw’s driver’s side.
3. 2001 Dodge Ram pickup, operated by Paul Landers (68) of LaFayette, crashes head on with Nicklaw.
4. Tractor trailer, operated by Grezegorz Lukaszewcz (64) of Aberdeen, New Jersey, swipes Landers’ pickup and crashes into guardrail.
5. 2001 Toyota Rav4, operated by Evelyn Tamela (57), of Syracuse crashes into Landers’ pickup. Tamela was transported to Community General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
6. 2001 Saturn, operated by Raphael Matteo, Jr. (52), of North Syracuse crashes into Toyota and Landers’ pickup.
Matteo was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was treated and released.