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Man dies in crash on Thruway

December 20, 2011
By BILL PITCHER , The Leader Herald

FLORIDA - A truck driver was seriously injured and his passenger was killed when their delivery truck slammed into a slow-moving tractor-trailer on the New York State Thruway on Monday.

State police said John Brooks, 28, of Albany was driving his Green's Appliance box truck eastbound on the Thruway around 4:15 p.m. when he rear-ended a Swift Transportation tractor-trailer being driven by Agba Yamahore, 37, of Tucker, Ga.

The impact crushed the front of the box truck and sheared off part of the passenger side. Brooks' passenger, Steven Stewart, 49, of Albany was killed in the collision, state police said.

Article Photos

The scene of Monday’s fatal accident that killed the passenger and injured the driver of this box truck on the eastbound New York State Thruway is shown.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Pitcher

Brooks was taken by the Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps paramedics to a LifeNet helicopter waiting in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel church parking lot off Route 5S in Amsterdam. He had critical injuries, officials said, but he was responsive while being wheeled from the ambulance to the chopper. He was in stable condition at Albany Medical Center late Monday.

Yamahore suffered minor back injuries, GAVAC Operations Manager Mickey Swartz said.

Yamahore told state police his truck was moving slowly because of a possible mechanical problem, but his four-way flashers were on. Brooks told police he didn't see the truck until it was too late to avoid it.

"There was a huge boom when it happened," said Jack Little, who lives on Beyer Road, adjacent to the crash scene, which was three miles east of Amsterdam, about a mile from the Schenectady County line.

The state Thruway Authority posted an advisory that the Thruway was closed between Schenectady Exit 26 and Amsterdam, but traffic continued to pass on the eastbound left shoulder and cars were still allowed to enter the highway.

State police are still investigating the accident. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation and collision reconstruction team from state police's Fonda barracks are assisting state police Troop T, which patrols the Thruway. The Glen, Pattersonville and Florida Fire Departments also responded, according to a news release.

Bill Pitcher is the city editor and can be reached at



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