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GIRL, 10, KILLED IN CRASH; PICKUP TRUCK DRIVER CITED

A 10-year-old girl was pronounced dead shortly before noon Tuesday after a pickup truck and the van in which she was riding collided at the intersection of Route 77 and Griswold Street. Four others were injured in the crash.

Deputy Jeffrey Miller of the Niagara County Sheriff's Department said the victim, Nicole Liepic, of 12 High St., Holley, was riding in the van of Charles Hepler, 33, of 64 West Albion St., Holley. Hepler and his wife, Patricia, 30, were treated in Medina Memorial Hospital and released. They were on their way to Darien Lake, police said.

A daughter, Sarah, 10, was flown by Mercy Flight to Children's Hospital in Buffalo and then transferred to Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo. She was listed in stable condition and was undergoing surgery.

The driver of the pickup truck, Andrew Stoe, 65, of Penn Yan, was treated and released from Lockport Memorial Hospital. He was cited by Miller for going through a stop sign.

Miller said Stoe was southbound on Griswold when he failed to stop and collided with the eastbound van. The force of the accident caused both vehicles to roll off the roadway, with the Stoe vehicle coming to rest on its roof.

Volunteer firefighters from the Wolcottville and Middleport fire companies had to extricate Sarah Hepler and the deceased girl from the rear of the van. Niagara County Coroner Kenneth Lederhouse pronounced the girl dead shortly before noon.

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