NewsUS NewsScripps News

Actions

No terrorism links found in New Year's Day crash in upstate New York

Rochester Police Chief David Smith said officers were directing traffic after a concert had finished when the crash occurred.
No terrorism links found in New Year's Day crash in upstate New York
Posted at 9:30 AM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-03 18:03:11-05

The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has joined the investigation into a fatal New Year's Day crash in Rochester, New York. 

While terrorism links are being investigated, police said on Tuesday nothing of that nature has been identified at this point. 

The crash happened outside a concert venue around 1 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Rochester Police Chief David Smith said officers were directing traffic after a concert had finished when the crash occurred. 

"An eastbound Ford Expedition struck a Mitsubishi Outlander that was exiting a nearby parking lot," Smith said. "The force of the collision forced the vehicles to go through a group of pedestrians that were in the crosswalk and then into two other vehicles."

SEE MORE: 4 killed, 2 injured in Michigan home explosion

Smith said two people inside the Mitsubishi were killed. The driver of the Ford, identified as 35-year-old Michael Avery, died later that night. Three pedestrians were hospitalized. One of them suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.

The crash caused a massive fire, which Smith said took about an hour to extinguish. 

"Once the fire was extinguished, first responders located at least a dozen gasoline canisters in and around the striking vehicle," he said. 

An investigation revealed Avery made about a half dozen purchases of gasoline and gas canisters on Dec. 30, according to police. 

The Expedition was reportedly a rental vehicle that the driver had obtained days before the crash. Smith said they had not found any evidence that Avery left a suicide note. 

"Although the motive behind the crime remains unknown, the conversations we've had with his family so far leads us to believe that Avery may have been suffering from possible undiagnosed mental health issues," Smith said. 


Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com