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Distracted driving blamed in fatal head-on crash in Chautauqua County

ELLICOTT – A 35-year-old woman from Gerry was fatally injured, and a 40-year-old Falconer woman was ticketed for allegedly causing a head-on collision on Harris Hill Road here about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.

Jill M. Hamrick was driving south on Harris Hill when Kerry Jo Mitchener veered from the northbound lane and they crashed head-on. A Falconer Rescue unit used a mechanical device to free Hamrick from her vehicle and she was rushed by ambulance to WCA Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mitchener, who said she became distracted on the road while reaching for an item in her vehicle, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Sheriff’s deputies ticketed Mitchener for failure to keep right and she has to appear in Ellicott Town Court for proceedings in several weeks. Harris Hill Road was closed to all traffic for about three hours while the sheriff’s accident reconstruction team investigated the accident.