Correction, March 23: Joseph “Leon” Arguello was actually a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to his partner. He was in Ithaca temporarily, visiting his children.

NEWFIELD, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an early morning crash on Saturday in the Town of Newfield that killed one person.

According to a press release issued Monday by Sheriff Derek Osborne, the crash took place around 1:18 a.m. the morning of March 19, though the circumstances around the crash are a bit murky and police say the investigation is ongoing, so more details may come to light in the near future.

The police’s telling of the crash is as follows: when they arrived on the scene, deputies observed “a white Volkswagen off of the roadway, unoccupied, and a blue Toyota that was heavily damaged. The driver of the blue Toyota was trapped inside of the vehicle.” Police said that the driver of the blue Toyota was subsequently extricated from the vehicle and transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania, where he was pronounced dead. Police identified the victim as Joseph L. Arguello, aged 49.

The investigation then led police to find the driver of the white Volkswagen “several hours later, on foot, approximately 1.5 miles away from the scene of the accident.” Details of the second driver’s condition were not released, but police do not say the person was injured or medically treated. It is also unclear to what extent the second driver’s vehicle, the white Volkswagen, was involved in the car crash.

Osborne credited New York State Police, Newfield Fire Company and Bangs Ambulance with assisting at the scene. He asked anyone with information to contact the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at