NEW YORK An investigation into an accident involving
junked vehicles that killed seven people, including four
children, is continuing, the Cortland County (N.Y.)
Sheriffs 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
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
Sheriffs 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,
The investigation is continuing at this time and no
tickets have been issued, added Helms.