WBEN Photo/Tim Wenger

Non-injured Drivers from Thruway Pile-up Shaken

Evacuated to Cheektowaga Hotel

January 02, 2018 - 7:40 pm
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Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WBEN) - A Cheektowaga Hotel became a warming shelter for dozens of people stuck on the New York State Thruway during lake effect blizzard conditions.

Non-injured drivers and passengers from Tuesday's massive Thruway pile-up were evacuated by school bus to the Garden Place Hotel near the Thruway's Transit Rd interchange. 

Joshua was among those caught up in the mess.  "I thought I was going to be able to stop, but instead I ran into the back of a tractor trailer.  It destroyed the driver's side of my car".  He told WBEN's Tim Wenger that he and his wife were fortunate. 

"Luckily no one hit me from behind".  Joshua was able to get out of his car and assist Fire, Police and EMS with caring for some of the injured.  He put his training to use.  Joshua was an 8 year member of the New York Air National Guard.

It was a tragic scene.  One person died in the wreck. 

It took two to three hours after the accident for Joshua and about 50 others to be evacuated to the hotel.  Many were visably shaken and still decompressing when reporters arrived.

"We were on our way from visiting relatives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana to our home near Albany".

Joshua and his wife will spend the night at the Garden Place Hotel.  In all, about 40 rooms were booked for out-of-town drivers and passengers from the pile-up.  Others were waiting for rides from local family and friends. 

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