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Man dies in North Tonawanda collision

NORTH TONAWANDA – Debris from the fatal crash stretched over all five lanes of River Road.

The mangled red SUV faced north in the southbound lanes, just north of the intersection with Main Street.

A witness told police the SUV was traveling at a fast rate of speed just before the collision, which was reported about 9 a.m. Friday.

“Based on the way the car looks, I would suspect that he was traveling at a pretty good rate of speed,” North Tonawanda Police Detective Capt. Thomas E. Krantz said.

The driver of the SUV, identified by police only as a North Tonawanda man about 50 years old, was ejected from his vehicle in the crash.

He was declared dead at the scene, Krantz said.

The other vehicle was a large refrigerated truck, which was stopped at the traffic signal waiting to turn left onto Main Street, police said in describing their preliminary findings. Police believe that the truck was waiting for the left-turn arrow to switch when the SUV struck it from behind. The truck’s driver was uninjured.

About 10 minutes before the fatal crash, the SUV driver was involved in a minor collision with a small Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bus a little less than a half mile up River Road at Wheatfield Street, Krantz said.

The only person aboard the bus was the driver. No one was injured and there was no significant damage done to either vehicle, police said. The SUV driver spoke with the bus driver at the scene, and then continued driving down River Road.

Niagara Falls police assisted North Tonawanda investigators with the reconstruction of the crash.

River Road between Robinson and Thompson streets was closed in both directions for several hours.

email: abesecker@buffnews.com