A radiologist at Samaritan Medical Center and three north country ambulance workers were killed overnight in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 81 in the Oswego County town of Sandy Creek.
State Police have identified the four people as:
– 52 year old Moon John Kim, Ellicott City, Maryland. SMC says he was an interventional radiologist.
– 50 year old Corey Moore, Canton
– 58 year old Gregg Williams, DeKalb Junction
– 63 year old Roderick Cota, Norwood.
Moore, Williams and Cota were employed by the Canton-based R.B. Lawrence Ambulance.
According to police, a 2015 Western Star milk tanker operated by 38 year old, Charles Howard III of Watertown, was traveling northbound on I-81 when he swerved at 11:38 p.m. to avoid striking deer on the highway.
Police said Howard lost control of the tanker, which jackknifed, blocking both northbound lanes.
According to police, a 2002 Mercury Sable, operated by Moore, was traveling north on I-81 when he was unable to avoid striking the tanker and passed under the trailer and coming to rest in a ditch on the eastside shoulder of the roadway. Moore, along with two passengers in the vehicle, Williams and Cota, were all pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said a 2011 Subaru, operated by Moon John Kim, was also traveling north on I-81 when he struck the same tanker and passed under the trailer and traveled more than 150 feet off the west side shoulder of the roadway and coming to rest in the median.
“It’s pitch black out here in the middle of the night. It appears they didn’t see the tractor trailer, the tanker itself, crossing the highway, strikes him, at 65-70 miles per hour,” said Trooper Jack Keller.
Kim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Howard was not injured in the crash.
SMC issued the following statement regarding the Dr. Kim:
“Samaritan Medical Center’s staff and physicians are mourning the loss of Dr. Moonjohn Kim. Dr. Kim was a gifted physician who was adored and deeply respected by his colleagues, staff and patients. He leaves behind a legacy of tremendous medical skill, talent and true compassion that impacted the lives of so many patients. We extend our deepest condolences to Dr. Kim’s family and everyone who knew and loved him.”
SMC said Dr. Kim joined the medical staff in 2011.
He received his medical degree at Hahnemann (Drexel) University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. He completed his residency in General Surgery and Diagnostic Radiology at the University to Illinois at Chicago and a fellowship in Interventional Radiology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Like’s Medical Center in Chicago. He was Board Certified with the American College of Radiology with certificate of additional qualification in Vascular & Interventional Radiology.
SMC said Dr. Kim leaves behind his wife, Clara, and their three young children, Jonathan, Julianne and Johanna.
Meanwhile, the owner of R.B. Lawrence Ambulance is mourning the deaths of his employees.
“It’s just such a huge loss,” said R.B. Lawrence. “They were great people. There’s nothing good about them, there’s a lot great about them and from great families, too.”
He said his employees were an ambulance driver, a critical care technician, and a mechanic.
Lawrence said the driver and the critical care technician were returning from a patient transfer to a Syracuse hospital when the ambulance broke down.
The mechanic drove down to help them and the three were returning home after he was unable to get the vehicle running.
“It’s just terribly devastating to us all,” Lawrence said, noting that because his company is so small, “we are more family and friends than employees and employers.”
State police are investigating the crash.
Victims Identified In Multi-Vehicle Crash on I-81
Written by Steve Yablonski, Jul 6, 2017
UPDATE July 6 130 PM
SANDY CREEK – State Police in Pulaski are investigating a three-vehicle fatal crash that occurred on Interstate 81 in the town of Sandy Creek.
On Wednesday (July 5), at 11:38 p.m., A 2015 Western Star milk tanker operated by 38-year-old Charles T. Howard III, from Watertown, was traveling northbound on I-81 when he swerved at 11:38 p.m. to avoid striking deer on the highway.
Howard lost control of the tanker, which jackknifed, blocking both northbound lanes.
A 2002 Mercury Sable, operated by Corey E. Moore, 50, from Canton, was traveling north on I-81 when he was unable to avoid striking the tanker and passed under the trailer, coming to rest in a ditch on the eastside shoulder of the roadway.
Moore, along with two passengers in the vehicle, Gregg P. Williams, 58, from De Kalb Junction, NY, and Roderick C. Cota, 63, from Norwood, NY, were all pronounced deceased at the scene.
Shortly thereafter, A 2011 Subaru, operated by Moon John Kim, 52, from Ellicott City, Maryland, was also traveling north on I-81 when he struck the same tanker and passed under the trailer and traveled more than 150 feet off the west side shoulder of the roadway and coming to rest in the median.
Kim was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Howard was not injured in the crash.
The New York State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit are investigating the crash.
State police were assisted at the scene by members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office and Sandy Creek Fire Department.
SANDY CREEK, N.Y. -- Four people are dead after two vehicles hit a tanker truck on Interstate 81 in Oswego County Wednesday night.
The driver of an empty northbound milk tanker lost control of his truck just after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"He saw several deer in the roadway. He hit the brakes. As you could see the skid marks, which caused him to jackknife across the entire, both lanes of northbound 81,” said New York State Police Public Information Officer Jack Keller.
Investigators say the truck driver immediately tried to straighten out his rig but didn't get enough time.
Corey Moore, 50, was driving a sedan with two passengers, 58-year-old Gregg Williams from DeKalb Junction, 63-year-old Roderick Cota from Norwood, when it crashed into the bottom of the tank and continued into the ravine. Police say all three men in the car died almost immediately.
Shortly after, Moon John Kim from Maryland, driving a Subaru Forester, followed the same path.
"Northbound also, strikes the tanker, goes underneath, and continues to go about a hundred yards, into the middle median where they come to rest. All the occupants, you have three in the first vehicle, one in the second, and all of them are deceased at the scene,” Keller said.
Three of the men were crew members with RB Lawrence Ambulance in Canton and the fourth was a radiologist at Samaritan Medical Center.
Police say it's evident the drivers of the two vehicles couldn't see the truck on the highway because it was dark.
"It's pitch black out here. The middle of the night. It appears they didn't see the tractor trailer, the tanker itself crossing the highway. Strikes him, at 65, 70 miles per hour, and unfortunately all the occupants are deceased,” said Keller.
The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured in the crash.
CANTON, N.Y. -- Three people killed in an Oswego County crash were employees of a north country ambulance company returning from a call in Syracuse, according to news outlets.
State police identified three dead St. Lawrence County residents as Corey E. Moore, 50, of Canton; Gregg P. Williams, 58, of De Kalb Junction; and Roderick C. Cota, 63, of Norwood.
R.B. Lawrence, owner of R.B. Lawrence Ambulance in Canton, told the Watertown Daily Times they were his employees.
"We are such a small company that they are all family," Lawrence told the newspaper. "They are just great people. I am not sure how we replace them or how we go on, but we are still in shock on this and still trying to figure out all that happened."
A fourth man killed in the crash was Moonjohn Kim, 52, of Ellicott City, Maryland, state police said.
Dr. Moonjohn Kim (Provided photo)
He was an interventional radiologist at Samaritan Medical Hospital in Watertown, said Krista Kittle, a hospital spokeswoman. Kim had worked there for the past six years.
"Dr. Kim was a gifted physician who was adored and deeply respected by his colleagues, staff and patients," the hospital stated. "He leaves behind a legacy of tremendous medical skill, talent and true compassion that impacted the lives of so many patients"
Kim is survived by his wife, Clara, and their three young children.
Lawrence said his employees were an ambulance driver, a critical care technician, and a mechanic, according to WWNYTV.
Friends, coworkers and ambulance services around the state showing their grief and support on social media suggested Moore was one of the ambulance company's head mechanics, Williams was an EMT driver, and Cota was both a supervisor and the critical care EMT.
The driver and technician had transported a patient to a Syracuse hospital earlier in the day and were headed home when their vehicle broke down near Pulaski, Lawrence told the Daily Times. The mechanic drove down to pick them up.
Officials identified the people killed as three St. Lawrence County residents and a man from Maryland. All four worked for medical services. (New York State Police)
Fewer than five miles into the journey back, a milk tanker in front of them heading north for Mannsville jackknifed, according to State Police. The driver, 38-year-old Charles T. Howard III of Watertown, told authorities he swerved to avoid "several" deer in the road and lost control of the tractor-trailer, said Jack Keller, a State Police spokesman.
Moore, Williams and Cota's vehicle struck the disabled tractor-trailer and went under it, coming to rest in a nearby ditch. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.
Kim's vehicle struck the same truck soon after, police said. His vehicle passed under it and traveled more than 150 feet before stopping in the median where he was also pronounced dead, according to State Police.
Lawrence said he was told the lights on the tractor-trailer had gone out when it crashed, making it hard to see in the dark. The crash happened just before midnight.
"It's just terribly devastating to us all," Lawrence told WWNYTV.
State police are still investigating the crash. Keller said it was a clear night, and the roads were dry at the time. Investigators shut down the highway for nearly eight hours overnight while they worked the scene.