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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Accident update: police identify victims


MASSENA - A 72-year-old Massena woman was airlifted to Upstate Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries she suffered after she struck two other vehicles on Main Street before losing control of her truck and slamming into the Hairitage House hair salon.

Police said Barbara Peets, 72, of 1880 state Route 420, Massena, was northbound on Main Strret when she sideswiped a van near McDonald’s, just south of the Route 37 intersection, being operated by Roger J. LaGrue, 65, of Cornwall, Ont.

She continued through the intersection and traveled approximately a block before rearending a 2008 Impala being operated by Geri E. Rausch, 58, of 11184 state Route 37. Approximately a hundred yards later, she rearended Rausch’s vehicle a second time.

That collision drove Rausch’s off the roadway, where it struck a tree and came to rest on its roof in front of the First United Methodist Church.

The Peets’ truck continued northbound in the grass, striking a tree and a fire hydrant before the driver’s front of the truck embedded itself in the foundation of the Hairitage House, directly under the station of one of the hair stylists. Michael J. Gagner and his client were knocked to the floor by the force of the collision.

Police said the cause of the accident is still under investigation, including whether Mrs. Peets was suffering from a medical condition at the time of the incident.

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