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Democrat Photo by Matt Youngfrau

THIS PHOTO ILLUSTRATES the sun glare that caused the bulk of an eventual 12-car pileup on Exit 104 of Route 17 in Monticello Wednesday. As can be seen, tow trucks had to remove most vehicles.

Chain Reaction of Accidents
Ties Up Route 17’s Exit 104

By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO —January 12, 2001 - A total of 12 cars were involved in four separate accidents in the same place on Wednesday morning: right before Exit 104 on Route 17 in Monticello.
The accidents began around 8 a.m. due to sun glare, New York State police said.
The first accident occurred when a 2000 Chevrolet rear-ended a 2000 Ford pickup. The driver of the Ford – Leonard Abplanalp, 64, of Liberty – and the Chevy’s operator – Frances Roberts, 55, of Livingston Manor – were not injured.
While that accident was being taken care of, Barbara Ferris, 50, from Swan Lake, driving a 1991 Ford, was rear-ended by a 1995 Ford driven by Arlene Berens, 48, of Liberty. Berens’ car was subsequently struck by a 1994 Pontiac driven by Shannon Sullivan, 26, of Ferndale. Then Sullivan’s vehicle was hit by a 1995 Oldsmobile operated by Fredrika Byers, 49, of Jeffersonville. The chain reaction continued, with Byers’ car being struck by a 1991 Mercury operated by Jaclyn Lazarus, 22, of Liberty.
The injuries were amazingly few in number. Sullivan was taken to the hospital for neck pain, and Lazarus sustained facial lacerations due to the deployment of her airbag.
But all was not done yet.
A tow truck from Prestige Towing in Rock Hill arrived to remove vehicles. The truck was then hit by a 1999 Volkswagon driven by Melody Cedeira, 35, of Livingston Manor. After she left her damaged car, it was struck by a 1996 Ford operated by Michael Krum of Youngsville. The impact slid the Volkswagon into Cedeira, who had to be taken to Harris for a possible leg fracture – the most serious injury of the morning.
The fourth and final accident occurred when an Orange County Sheriff’s Department van stopped to offer assistance. That van was rear-ended by a 1993 Chevrolet operated by Brian Nivison, 23, of Cortland. No one was injured in that crash.
Among those responding to the accidents were the New York State Police, the Monticello Fire Department, the Town of Liberty Volunteer Ambulance Corps and MobileMedic. Traffic was delayed for about an hour while officials cleared the highway.

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