By Nathan Mayberg
MONGAUP VALLEY July 29, 2005 Six young people were killed Wednesday after their car, driven by a camp counselor, crashed into a large Sullivan County Department of Works truck and was crushed as it went underneath.
The deadly accident occurred at noontime at the top of a hill on Route 17B near Marcy Souths power lines in Mongaup Valley.
There were no survivors in the car, but the truck driver, Michael Cooper of Mongaup Valley, escaped with minor injuries. The deceased were all from Atlanta Dancing Camp in South Fallsburg.
Their names, as released by the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department yesterday, are Anatoliy Cheremnykh, 14, of Owings Mills, Maryland; Masha Fishman, 14, of Edison, New Jersey; Igor Golovunin, 15, of Brooklyn; Illya Kapitannikov, 16, of Brooklyn; Irina Mironova, 25, of Miami Beach, Florida; and Gabrielle Saybelman, 12, of Brooklyn.
According to Sullivan County District Attorney Stephen Lungen, Mironova was the driver.
There was a 911 call of an erratic car shortly before the crash. That car was the one which crashed just before noon on Wednesday.
According to Lungen and Sullivan County Sheriffs Department Detective Don Starner and witnesses they spoke to, the westbound car crossed a double-yellow line before colliding with the eastbound truck, which was traveling in its own lane.
The car was believed to be traveling at a high rate of speed while swerving. Lungen said the full reconstruction of the crash will be completed in a couple of days by the New York State Police. A toxicology report will determine whether alcohol or drugs were contributing factors.
Lungen said the car initially hit the truck on the side before the nose went underneath and the truck rolled over it.
The truck ended up on the side of the road, while the car was reduced to scattered metal.
There was no way he could have avoided that collision, said Sullivan County Sheriffs Department Sergeant Donald Prince of Cooper.
Starner said all six individuals were pronounced dead at the scene by Sullivan County Coroner Elton Harris.
MobileMedic arrived at the scene, but there was no one to recuscitate, said Starner. He said the victims died from multiple traumatic injuries.
Traffic was rerouted for hours at Coopers Corner Road in Monticello for westbound travelers and Airport Road in the Town of Bethel for those heading east.
Sullivan County Sheriffs Department deputies were assisted by the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction Team and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Team.
The Monticello Fire Department, Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Department and Fallsburg Fire Department all responded.
The deadly accident is one of several which have hit the county this summer.
Starner cautioned drivers to lower their speed.
People have to be more courteous, said Starner. Slow down. There is no place you are going to get that quick. Take your time.