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Police say speed may have been factor in fatal crash in Saratoga Springs

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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— The motorcyclist killed Sunday night on Route 9 has been identified as a Troy man who was attending the nearby Luke Bryan concert, Saratoga Springs police said Tuesday as they continued their investigation.

Police are looking at the victim’s speed as a factor in causing the crash, but continue to seek the public’s help in their investigation.

The 10:30 p.m. crash between two Yamaha motorcycles and an SUV at the southern entrance to Saratoga Spa State Park killed Christopher T. Thomas, 26, of Yates Street, police said.

Thomas’ cause of death was listed as massive chest injuries, including a ruptured aorta. He died even though a passing motorist who was a nurse and police Sgt. Aaron Benware immediately began CPR at the scene before paramedics arrived.

Police said their investigation indicates a 2008 Lexus SUV operated by Debra Powell of Northborough, Mass., was northbound on Route 9 and positioned to make a left turn into the park, planning to pick up family members who were at the concert at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Meanwhile, the two motorcycles were southbound at a high rate of speed, witnesses said.

“As Powell was making the left turn through the intersection it appears the traffic light changed to yellow, and, by some witness accounts, the motorcycles allegedly sped up to possibly beat the light,” police said in a news release.

Thomas’ motorcycle hit the passenger side door and rear of the turning SUV.

The other motorcycle, driven by Scott A. Mancini, 23, of Third Street, Troy, clipped the rear of the SUV. Mancini and passenger Stephanie Preble, 20, of McChesney Avenue Extension, Troy, were ejected from the motorcycle as it went out of control.

Mancini and Preble suffered arm, leg and facial injuries and were taken to Albany Medical Center. Both have since been released, police said.

All three people on the motorcycles had been attending the concert, police said.

Powell was treated at Saratoga Hospital for neck and back injuries and later released.

No tickets have been issued, but the investigation is continuing. Police Lt. John Catone said it will take at least four weeks to get toxicology reports, accident reconstruction results and other data needed to complete the investigation.

It was the second fatal accident of the weekend in Saratoga Springs. A bicycle collision with a tractor-trailer at Route 29 and Weibel Avenue on Friday evening claimed the life of bicyclist Justin Price, 20, of Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs. Police said Price appeared to have become distracted and drifted into the truck’s path.

Anyone who witnessed Sunday night’s accident or the operation of the motorcycles or SUV beforehand is asked to contact Sgt. Tim Sicko or Sgt. Andrew Prestigiacomo at the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

 
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