Update 12:24 a.m. —

Newfield, N.Y. — Four vehicles were involved in a fatal crash in Newfield on Wednesday, according to the Newfield Fire Company.

At around 3:50 p.m., firefighters were called to the 1100 block of Route 13/Elmira Road for a motor vehicle collision with injures.

Chief Watros arrived on scene and found four vehicles involved – two of which collided head on – with three people needing extrication, according to a statement from the Newfield Fire Company.

“Two vehicles had only minor damage with neither driver complaining of injuries,” Newfield firefighters said. “Bangs Ambulance arrived on scene with three ambulances and a fly car and began triaging the patients involved.”

One patient was pronounced dead on scene. Two others were extricated by Newfield firefighters.

The Ithaca Fire Department was called to set up a landing zone at Route 13 and Decker Road.

“The two patients treated by Bangs Ambulance were flown by helicopters to a regional trauma center,” a news release said.

West Danby Fire Department and Odessa Fire Department were called to assist in controlling traffic after Route 13 was closed for investigation.

Newfield Fire Company remained on scene until 9 p.m. helping the New York State Police and Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

“Thanks to the Ithaca Fire Department, West Danby Fire Department, Odessa Fire Department, Bangs Ambulance, NYSP, TCSO, and our Tompkins County 911 dispatchers for the assistance,” a news release said.

Update 7:30 p.m. —

One person has died in a crash that occurred in Newfield on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Tompkins County 911 Dispatch Center.


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Two others are reported to be in critical condition, according to TWC News.

One witness told the Ithaca Voice that the crash occurred when a vehicle crossed the centerline of Elmira Road and collided with a car going in the opposite direction.

Rick MacDonald, the witness, and his wife were driving north on Route 13/Elmira Road at around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when a vehicle about 100 feet ahead of them was hit by a vehicle going south.

The vehicle in the southbound lane suddenly swerved into the northbound lane and crashed head-on with another vehicle, according to MacDonald.

“The woman driving in front of us did not have the slightest chance to avoid the accident,” MacDonald said. “Two seconds later, and it could have been us.”

Here’s the account MacDonald recalled of the incident:

After the crash, MacDonald got out of his car and called 911. Someone from MD Automotive, right by the crash, also called 911, MacDonald said.

Several citizens on the road went to the cars where the victims were trapped. “They couldn’t get the door open,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald added that someone approached with a hammer to try to get into the car. “There was no fire, fortunately,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald said he didn’t think the victims should be moved given the extent of the injuries in the crash.

An ambulance arrived about five minutes after the accident. MacDonald said that the windshields had been badly damaged and that the front ends of the vehicles had been “smashed in.”

Update 5:30 p.m. —

A few more updates about the serious Newfield crash on Route 13 on Wednesday:

1 — Three people were taken to the hospital, according to the Tompkins County 911 Dispatch Center.

One person, as previously reported, was airlifted by a medical helicopter to a trauma center.

Dispatchers now confirm that two other people were also taken to the Cayuga Medical Center by Bangs Ambulance.

2 — Route 13 will remain closed for several hours, dispatchers said around 5:30 p.m. That could go well into the night. Several motorists have reported that traffic is backed up in the area, about 15 minutes southwest of Ithaca.

3 — An accident reconstruction team is being called to the scene. Law enforcement will be investigating the crash.

Update 4:40 p.m. —

A helicopter is flying at least one patient to the hospital after a serious “head-on” car crash near Ithaca Wednesday afternoon, according to the Tompkins County 911 Dispatch Center.

A second helicopter was called and en route to the scene but later canceled.

Dispatchers say Route 13 remains closed. They do not know when the road might reopen; we will provide updates when it is.

The crash was reported to have occurred on the 1100 block of Elmira Road/Route 13, drawing a response from the Newfield Fire Department and other emergency agencies.

Earlier, posted at 4 p.m. —

Newfield, N.Y. — Emergency responders have been called to what appears to be a serious “head-on” crash about 15 minutes southwest of Ithaca in the Tompkins County town of Newfield, according to the Tompkins County 911 Dispatch Center.

Two helicopters are being activated and are flying to the scene right now, dispatchers said.

The crash was reported sometime around 4 p.m. on Wednesday. It occurred on the 1100 block of Elmira Road/Route 13.

Route 13 is closed in both directions. Dispatchers say motorists should avoid the area.

The accident was in between Decker Road and Millard Hill, according to dispatchers.

Among the agencies called to the scene: The Newfield Fire Department, Bangs Ambulance, and the Ithaca Fire Department, which is setting up the landing zone.

We’ll provide updates as they become available.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.