CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — New York State Police have identified the man who died following the massive accident on the eastbound I-90 near Lancaster Tuesday.
Edward Torres, 64, of Elba, was unable to stop and struck a tractor trailer that had been involved in another crash. Torres struck the rear of the trailer and was seriously injured. He was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment but was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Others were treated for minor injuries and one person remains in serious condition, State Troopers say.
As first responders and emergency crews towed away cars to help clear the scene, drivers involved in the wreck considered themselves lucky.
Bruce Johnston tried to hit his brakes when he saw red lights in front of him, to no avail.
"I kind of just veered off to the right, to get into the ditch to avoid that and I just, maybe clipped another car and got settled in," Johnston said as he assessed the damage to his car at Rusiniak's, a collision shop where many cars were towed. "Then I looked in my rearview mirror and a tractor trailer was jack-knifing right into me and put me into three cars and I just hoped for the best."
Lashay Moore said she felt like a baseball as a tractor-trailer swung her into the ditch.
"I thought I was going to die, the way my car spun. But they had the ramp there and my car just stayed there," Moore said. "If there were other cars on the side and I was in the middle, I would have been done."
The estimated 50 drivers forced to abandon their cars on the Thruway were taken to a hotel on Transit Road in Williamsville, which served as a warming shelter.