Two killed in five vehicle crash on Thruway near Rochester

Scene of the deadly crash in Mendon on the Thruway.

State Police have identified the two people who were killed in a five-car crash on the Thruway in Mendon, near Rochester.

The investigation showed that a commercial vehicle haling a construction dumpster was traveling eastbound when it left its lane, crossed the median, and hit a westbound-traveling pickup truck head-on.

The two people in the pickup truck, 51-year-old Michael F. Pehrson, of Batavia and 25-year-old Christopher M. Rheinheimer, of Darien, were pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the commercial vehicle was taken to Strong Memorial for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Seconds after the first crash, a westbound tractor trailer hit a broken piece of guiderail, which punctured the gas tank and caused it to burst into flames. The truck was destroyed, but the driver escaped the fire uninjured.

Debris on the roadway caused two other crashes, injuring a 70-year-old man, who was taken to Strong Memorial for treatment.

The investigation is ongoing, and so far there are no charges against the driver of the commercial vehicle.