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NIAGARA POLICE & COURTS

>Plunge kills trucker; 6 in van have close call

PAINTED POST (AP) -- A tractor-trailer plunged more than 60 feet off a highway overpass, landing in front of a minivan carrying a family of six from Barker, Niagara County, and killing the truck driver.

Four children in the van, including a 3-year-old, escaped with cuts and bruises, and their parents were hospitalized with injuries not considered to be life-threatening, police said Monday.

"I never saw anything like it in my life," a witness, Clarice Ross, told the Leader newspaper in Corning.

The truck was traveling on a newly built overpass that carries U.S. Route 15 across Interstate 86 when the driver lost control at a bend and careened over a concrete barrier just before sunset Sunday near this village in Steuben County. The truck was hauling thousands of 6-inch-long plastic tubes to a factory where they are molded into pop bottles.

The debris from the crash littered the highway, which was shut down for hours.

"It looked like a total explosion" with between 10,000 and 20,000 plastic tubes scattered all over, Painted Post Police Chief Donald Yost said. "I would say speed definitely is going to be a factor in this."

Killed was Milton Reedy, 62, of Brandon, Fla.

The van slammed into the truck and ended up partially submerged in a drainage pond next to the interstate. The children, ages 3, 10, 13 and 17, all clambered out of the wreckage. Their parents, James and Maria Cantella, both 43, were listed in stable condition Monday in an Elmira hospital.

The state Department of Transportation was alerted to inspect damage to the overpass, part of a highway interchange that has been under construction for the past two years.

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>Ontario car crash kills female passenger, 42

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. -- A Niagara Falls, Ont., woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash just before 8 p.m. Sunday on York Road at Concession 6 here, Niagara Regional Police reported.

The 42-year-old victim's name was not released by police. She was a front-seat passenger in a car driven by a 35-year-old man from Niagara Falls who suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Hamilton General Hospital, police said.

Their vehicle collided with a car driven by a 20-year-old man from Virgil, Ont., according to police, who said he and a 22-year-old female passenger from Niagara Falls, Ont., were taken to St. Catharines General Hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening.

The investigation was continuing.

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>Police have a suspect in work site burglary

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police said they have a suspect in the burglary of items at the Niagara Street School construction site.

A witness told police he saw two people taking items from the site at 2516 Niagara St. at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

An officer located a car matching a suspect's description and searched an apartment on 78th Street with a woman's permission for evidence of the burglary. The woman in the apartment said her boyfriend did construction work and collected junk metal for scrap yards.

Police said they found some equipment and tools possibly connected to the burglary in the apartment.

Detectives had made no arrests in the case as of Monday evening.

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>Girl, 17, accused of beating grandmother

NIAGARA FALLS -- City police charged a Memorial Parkway teen with menacing and harassment early Monday after her grandmother said she punched and kicked her in the face and chest, choked her and swung a pipe at her.

Police said they charged Shaquina S. Hill, 17, at 1 a.m. after she and her grandmother had a disagreement over medication.

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>Collision shop loss put at $250 in break-in

NIAGARA FALLS -- The owner of Fred's Collision told police someone broke into his business Sunday night.

He said that at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, someone smashed the front door window and unlocked the door, entering the building at 530 56th St.

About $250 worth of valuables were stolen, police said.

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>$1,000 in medication taken in pharmacy break-in

NIAGARA FALLS -- A representative of MacLeod's Pharmacy told police at 11:15 p.m. Sunday that someone broke into the business and took $1,000 in medication.

The employee said someone smashed in the glass door of the building at 8672 Buffalo Ave., and a pharmacy representative said the thief took $500 in prescription painkilling medication.

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