Rebecca Vosburgh, James Papaj Killed in Truck Accident in Buffalo, NY
Buffalo, NY -- February 17, 2023, Rebecca Vosburgh and James Papaj were killed due to an accident involving a semi-truck.
Preliminary details from authorities say that the accident happened along I-190 near Peace Bridge at around midnight.
Authorities said that 36-year-old Rebecca Vosburgh, a Cheektowaga resident, and 58-year-old James Papaj were in a Pontiac Vibe which somehow crashed and became disabled along the interstate. Another driver stopped at the scene and spoke with Vosburgh, authorities suggest. While they were stopped, a semi-truck crashed into the vehicles, fatally injuring both Vosburgh and Papaj. No one else was said to be injured.
Right now, there are no additional details confirmed. Late at night or early in the morning, visibility is usually an issue, especially on highways where people are traveling at higher speeds. Authorities also mention there is a crest in the road approaching the crash scene. But there are a few things which can't go overlooked in finding out just how avoidable this crash was (if it even was).
For one, interstates are generally very uniform and easy to navigate. Any kind of turns or hills are generally gradual due to the speeds people driver on those roads. This stretch of road is in a pretty urban area, and the images I can find don't appear to show any extraordinarily obtrusive hills or turns. Would this supposed crest really explain this crash on its own?
Secondly, while it was no doubt dark at the time of the collision, at least one driver was able to stop at the scene without incident. Perhaps that driver was there to witness the crash or was someone traveling along with the victims in a separate vehicle. If so, then they may have been in a position to see the stalled vehicle in a way which the truck driver couldn't. Sometimes, however, this can be a sign that a vehicle is visible and avoidable, and someone who failed to avoid hitting them did so as a result of negligence, rather than just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I obviously can't shed more light on this awful event beyond what's in the news, but I too often see folks either jump to blame someone or otherwise write something off as just an unavoidable accident. A deadly truck wreck is almost always more complex than that, and getting the victims and families the answers they need requires far more thorough evidence than these initial reports offer. I can only hope professionals are working at this time to get them those answers considering what's publicly known right now is far from telling the whole story.