Hamburg Police have released the name of the man who died in a horrific crash on Southwestern Boulevard Friday afternoon.
Ronald M. “Ronnie” Mroz Sr., 68, of Hamburg, who was a well-known toll taker at the Grand Island bridges, died from injuries he received when he was riding in the front seat of his son’s Chevrolet Malibu.
His son, Timothy J. Mroz, 36, of Amherst, was taken to Erie County Medical Center with critical injuries, while his 8-year-old grandson, who was riding in the back seat, also was injured and was taken to Women & Children’s Hospital.
The accident occurred about 2:20 p.m. Friday on Southwestern Boulevard east of Pleasant Avenue, as Mroz was between two pickup trucks headed east.
Kelly Wilcox, 47, of Silver Creek, told police her pickup truck, that was hauling a trailer, was stopped in the passing lane, waiting for westbound traffic to clear so she could make a left turn into Appolson’s Performance Center. She said her vehicle suddenly got struck from behind.
Kyle Matteson, 17, of Dunkirk, told police he was eastbound on Southwestern in the passing lane and momentarily looked toward Appolsons before striking the rear of the Mroz sedan. He was ticketed for following too closely. Matteson was taken to Lakes Shore Hospital in Irving after saying his arms and hands were sore.
When Officer Scott Weyrough arrived at the scene, Ronald and Timothy Mroz and Timothy’s son were trapped in their car. The boy was in the back seat, which was destroyed when the trunk and its contents pushed the back seat forward. A large puddle of gasoline had formed under and around the car, and Weyrough was able to pry open the front passenger door and get the child out of the car.
Once removed from the car, Timothy was taken to Erie County Medical Center, where he was upgraded to fair condition on Tuesday. Ronald was pronounced dead at Mercy Ambulatory Care Center.
In addition to his son and grandson, Ronald Mroz is survived by his wife, the former Shirley Jackson; son, Ronald Jr.; daughter, Lori; two brothers, Stan and Brian; sister, Colleen Niemiec, and two other grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Assumption Church, 435 Amherst St.