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Police identify victims in Thruway crash

Mendon, N.Y. Two people were killed and several others were injured in a multi-vehicle accident on the Thruway near Route 64 around 4:30 p.m. Monday.

In all, six vehicles were involved in the accident, but the impact of just two vehicles is what led to the deaths of two Genesee County men.

According to New York State Police, a commercial vehicle hauling a construction dumpster was headed East when it crossed over the center median of the Thruway into the westbound lanes.

That is when it hit a pickup truck head-on.

The two men in the pickup, Michael Pehrson, 51, of Batavia, and Christopher Rheinheimer, 25, of Darien, were pronounced dead at the scene, while the commercial truck driver was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

State Police said that a piece of guardrail then struck the fuel tank of a tractor trailer, which burst into flames.

The driver of the big rig escaped with no injuries.

There were three other cars involved in minor ways with no serious injuries reported.

Pehrson was very involved in youth hockey and other organizations. Rheinheimer was a member of the local electrical workers union.

State Police continue to investigate the crash, but for now, no criminal charges are being filed against the driver of the commercial dumpster truck that crossed into westbound lanes.

 
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