Investigators say a mechanical failure is to blame for a deadly crash that killed seven people in Cortland County.
It happened just after 6 p.m. Wednesday on Route 13 in the Town of Truxton.
Cortland County Sheriff's deputies say the crash was caused by a mechanism failure on the fifth wheel locking mechanism of the tractor of the tractor trailer. Because of that, deputies say the trailer was able to disconnect from the tractor and collide with the 1999 Dodge Caravan driven by 24-year-old Carino Vanorden.
The minivan was carrying eight people, 7 of them were killed. The deceased include: 26-year-old Teresa Bush, her two daughters 4-year-old Alexis Bush and 5-year-old Jasmine Bush, 21-year-old Lena Beckwith, her fiance 24-year-old Carino Vanorden, 7-year-old Alyssa Mead and her brother 4-year-old Tyler Mead. Their father, 31-year-old Shawn Mead was the only survivor. He was treated and released from Upstate University Hospital.
The tractor trailer was driven by 26-year-old Ryan Dorward of Manlius. 44-year-old Duane Newton was a passenger in the truck. Neither of them were injured in the crash.
The investigation is continuing. So far, no tickets have been issued.