news services
updated 7/19/2011 7:52:34 PM ET 2011-07-19T23:52:34

Five people were killed and 10 injured in upstate New York Tuesday afternoon in an accident involving a farm tractor and two other vehicles.

The accident happened in the small community of Benton, NY, located about 43 miles southeast of Rochester in New York's rural Finger Lakes region.

Yates County Sheriff Ronald Spike said that about 16 people were involved in the accident, which happened at about 12:40 p.m. ET. Spike said four helicopters and at least 10 ambulances were assisting.

Sheriff Spike told the Democrat and Chronicle that the van was traveling northbound when a slow-moving tractor approached the vehicle in the southbound lane. The driver of the car behind the tractor attempted to pass the tractor "on a curve, in a no passing zone, at an intersection," Spike said.

“When he did, he collided with the van. It drove the van over into the path of the farm tractor and the van actually went underneath the tractor,” Spike said.

The van was carrying 14 Amish adult farmers, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. At least four people were initially trapped in the wreck before rescue workers removed them. Five people from the van were pronounced dead at the scene. Only one person from the van escaped with no injuries, while the drivers of the car and tractor suffered only minor injuries.

Seven injured were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital. Four of those patients were in guarded condition, while another was still being evaluated, according to Strong Hospital spokeswoman Karin Christensen. Another three people injured in the accident are being treated at Auburn or Geneva Hospitals. Some of the injuries were reportedly very serious.

Charges against the driver of the car are pending investigation, reported the Democrat and Chronicle. Multiple signs leading up to the accident scene indicate drivers should slow down due to the curve. There are also signs to warn drivers about farm vehicles.

Police have not released names of the dead or injured, but Spike told the Democrat and Chronicle the farmers were from the towns of Jasper and Woodhull in Steuben County, south of the accident site. The farmers were traveling for "an excursion of different farm operations," Spike said. Some of the farmers were related.

Check back later for more details on this developing story.  

The Associated Press also contributed to this report


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