One dead, seven injured in tractor trailer crash (with photos)
Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) One person is dead and seven are injured after a tractor trailer hauling seven cars crashed into an Ithaca restaurant. The tractor trailer was driving down State Street when it failed to turn. It then crashed into a four-story building, according to Ithaca Police. Police said it happened at the intersection of Aurora Street and East State Street at 4:09 p.m. Friday. The bottom floor of the building is Simeon’s Bistro restaurant and the top three floors are apartments. A small fire broke out inside inside the cab of the tractor trailer and was extinguished by police and the Ithaca Fire Department. Seven people were treated for minor injuries at the scene and transported by Bangs Ambulance to a local hospital. Amanda Bush, 27, of Lansing was killed in the crash. She was the bartender at Simeon’s. According to police, Bush was the mother of a 14-month-old child. The owner of Simeon's, Richard Avery, also said Bush was pregnant. Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and Ithaca Police Officer Jamie Williamson held a press conference at 6 p.m. Friday to address the incident. "It's a very tragic day in the city of Ithaca and a very sad day. There's not a lot of solace to be found when you lose a life like this. But there is inspiration to be found in the first responders. It's my eighth year in office and getting to see up close how the police department, fire department, the EMS service providers, how they rise to the occasion in moments when we, the rest of us feel so small," said Mayor Myrick. WIlliamson said it is not unusual for tractor trailers to travel on State Street, as it's right off of State Route 79. The driver was identified as Viacheslav Grychanyi, 37, of Spokane, Washington. He is currently in custody and cooperating with police. He suffered minor injuries and was not taken to hospital, according to police. The truck is owned by a company known as Quality Re-Locating Services in Spokane, Washington. Police said Grychanyi has been issued two traffic tickets; one for an overlength tractor and trailer and the other for having an inadequate braking system. Grychanyi voluntarily provided a blood sample to police, which was sent for tests. Police said the man did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. Witnesses estimated the tractor trailer was traveling approximately 40 to 50 miles per hour at the time of impact, according to police. The building that that was hit is closed until further notice and traffic continues to be directed from the area. Police estimate the investigation will be ongoing for several weeks. Mayor Myrick said this is "one of the most tragic incidents in Ithaca's history." According to the Ithaca fire chief, a similar accident happened 30 years ago, when a truck smashed into the front of Simeon's restaurant, causing injuries. The mayor stated he will be looking for ways to make the area safer. According to police, the tractor trailer was traveling west on Mitchell Street, merged onto East State Street and then continued down the hill until colliding with the building. Police ask anyone who saw the collision or the tractor trailer traveling on those two streets to contact the Ithaca Police Department.