Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Driver survives crash into tree, only to be killed by passing motorist

At 3:02 a.m. Saturday (7/30) morning, Troopers from the Williamson barracks responded to a motor vehicle accident with a pedestrian stuck on Route 350 approximately 1/2 mile south of Ridge Road in the Town of Ontario.

A Ford Ranger pickup driven by Michael C. Wormuth, age 23, of Avon was traveling north on Route 350 when he crossed the southbound lane, drifted off the west shoulder, and struck a tree. The tree was knocked down, and fell across Route 350 blocking both lanes. Mr. Wormuth exited his truck apparently uninjured.

An uninvolved vehicle going southbound on Route 350 approached the accident scene shortly thereafter, and the driver of that uninvolved vehicle, Dean Tonas of Webster, spoke briefly with Mr. Wormuth to see if he was injured.

As Mr. Tonas called 911, a Nissan Altima driven by Christopher J. Loftus, age 36, of Ontario was traveling north on Route 350.
Mr. Tonas saw a vehicle approaching, and repeatedly yelled to Mr. Wormuth, who was standing in the northbound lane to get out of the road. Mr. Loftus did not see the tree blocking the roadway until the last second, and traveled under the fallen branches only to hit Mr. Wormuth who was behind the fallen tree on the other side. The accident smashed the Loftus windshield and threw Wormuth to the pavement.

Mr. Wormuth was pronounced dead at the scene. “This was a very unfortunate accident,” said State police Investigator Andy Jasie.

The investigation is continuing, but no criminal charges are anticipated.