Police investigate fatal car/tractor-trailer crash on Thruway

Photo Credit: Craig McDowell

A man is dead after a crash on the Thruway early Wednesday morning.

According to State Police Troop T, around 3:24 a.m. a 1986 Toyota Camry was driving along Interstate 90 near Exit 41 (Waterloo) near the Junius-Tyre town line when it was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer driven by 34-year-old Jeffery Wise of Oswego. The truck then reportedly veered off of the highway, crashed through a fence, and ran into a second parked tractor-trailer at a Petro Service Station near the exit.

State Police say the driver of the car was killed in the crash, and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police placed a blue tarp over the wreckage while they investigated. The driver has been identified as 49-year-old Mykhaylo Galasa, of Syracuse.

The right lane of the Thruway eastbound at mile marker 320.4 near Exit 41 was closed for approximately six hours while fire and rescue crews worked to clean up the crash site. The lane has since reopened.

State Police reported more than 300 gallons of diesel fuel had spilled as a result of the crash. The westbound lanes of the Thruway were not affected.

No word as of yet on what caused Wise to rear end the Camry. Police have not announced any tickets in relation to the incident.

Two occupants of the parked truck, George and Bonnie Bedenbender of Rushville, Illinois, were in the sleeper berth at the time. Police say George Bedenbender suffered a minor head injury, but declined medical treatment.

Galasa was charged with DWI over the weekend. Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies say he drove into the St. John the Baptist Cemetery Saturday afternoon, damaging six headstones.