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A four-vehicle accident sent four people to area hospitals and created long backups during the early part of this morning's rush hour on the southbound Niagara Thruway.

The accident occurred at about 6:50 a.m. on the Niagara Street on-ramp to the southbound Niagara Thruway. It left traffic backed up as far north as the Black Rock area of the city.

A car driven by Edwin Burgos, 41, of Buffalo rear-ended a vehicle driven by Clarissa Russi, 43, of Buffalo, Sgt. John Reinholz said. The Burgos vehicle then went across three lanes of traffic and into the path of two more vehicles.

Burgos, who was issued a ticket accusing him of following too closely and not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Erie County Medical Center with head, neck and back injuries. Ms. Russi and two other people, including a woman who is seven months' pregnant, were taken to other area hospitals with injuries described by state police as minor.

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