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Investigation continues in deadly junk car accident

Keywords: Tags  Newton Salvage, Ryan Dorward, Duane Newton, Upstate Shredding, Mark Helms, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — An investigation into an accident involving junked vehicles that killed seven people, including four children, is continuing, the Cortland County (N.Y.) Sheriff’s Department said.

The accident happened May 29 in Truxton, New York, when a trailer carrying a load of junk cars disconnected from its tractor, striking a minivan traveling in the opposite direction.

The tractor was being operated by Ryan Dorward, 26, and Duane Newton, 44, who were said to be employees of Newton Salvage, a Georgetown, N.Y.-based scrap metal recycler. Both were uninjured in the accident. Calls to Newton Salvage for comment were not returned.

The trailer carrying the junk cars had been leased to Newton Salvage by Oswego, N.Y.-based Upstate Shredding LLC, the largest privately held scrap processor on the East Coast. “It was a new trailer and was leased by Upstate Shredding to Newton Salvage approximately two weeks before the accident occurred,” an Upstate Shredding spokesman told AMM.

Sheriff’s Department Capt. Mark Helms said in a statement that the accident was caused by a failure on the fifth wheel locking mechanism of the tractor. “It was due to this mechanism failure that the trailer was able to disconnect from the tractor and collide with the 1999 Dodge Caravan,” Helms said.

“The investigation is continuing at this time and no tickets have been issued,” added Helms.

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