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Sat., Aug. 29
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Akwesasne man charged with DWI following head on collision on Route 37 near U.S. Customs


MASSENA - A 54-year-old Akwesasne man was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a personal injury after rear ending one vehicle and then striking another vehicle head on Thursday night on Route 37 in the town of Massena.

Massena-based state police said they responded to a report of a head-on collision at approximately 8:20 p.m. Thursday on state Route 37, approximately 1,000 feet east of the entrance to the U.S. port of entry. They said their investigation revealed two other vehicles had also been involved in the accident.

Troopers said a full-size Ford pickup being operated by Joseph A. Back, 54, Akwesasne was eastbound on Route 37 on a two-lane stretch of the roadway when he rear-ended an eastbound truck being operated by Robert S. Peter, 54, of Akwesasne, Ont.. That truck then tapped the rear end of a car in front of him being operated by Inez Seymour, 77, of Akwesasne, Ont.

The pickup truck being operated by Back veered to its left after striking the truck and collided head-on with a westbound Mazda car being operated by Eva P. Waters, 52, of Massena.

Troopers said Waters was transported to Massena Memorial Hospital for treatment of two fractured ankles and a broken femur.

They said Back fled the accident scene on foot but was picked up a short distance away on Route 37 by St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police.

Troopers said no blood alcohol content was immediate available. Blood was drawn while Back was being treated at the hospital and his blood alcohol content will be determined following a laboratory analysis.

Back was also also ticketed for following too closely, failure to keep right and failure to wear his seat belt.

A portion of Route 37 between the entrance to the U.S. Customs station and the Franklin County line was closed for approximately an hour and a half Thursday night.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by Massena Rescue, Akwesasne Rescue and the Massena Fire Department.

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