Video captures 10-car wreck, rescue from burning car

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Authorities here are trying to identify people who raced to help save a woman from her burning car after a 10-car crash Thursday.

On Monday, Binghamton Mayor Richard David posted a nearly three-minute video on his Facebook page depicting the initial moments of the tumultuous wreck on the eastbound lanes of Route 17. The video was taken from a dashboard camera of a vehicle that was on the highway at the time.

The woman escaped with only minor cuts and bruises after being rescued from the burning car. Binghamton police say 10 vehicles were involved in the wreck and 10 people were hospitalized for various injuries, none of which were life-threatening.

David said the city is hoping to identify people in the video clip in order to recognize their heroism.

"In a time of crisis, these brave individuals navigated through flames and broken glass to save a stranger's life," David said in Facebook post. "On behalf of our entire community, I commend these unsung heroes as well as our local police, fire and EMS first responders. Binghamton is safer because of you."

Police say a tractor-trailer's inadequate brakes contributed to the crash, which happened around 4:20 p.m. Thursday.

The operator of the tractor-trailer, 74-year-old Allen R. Kirkpatrick, from Wyalusing, Pa., has been ticketed for operating an out-of-service vehicle, Binghamton police said. Members of the state police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit also are investigating.

Traffic congestion from construction along the stretch of Route 17 just before Exit 72 is believed to be the chief cause of the multiple collisions, according to police.

Investigators say the tractor-trailer carrying stone blocks was unable to stop in time and crashed into other vehicles, contributing to the pileup.


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