CORTLANDVILLE, N.Y. - Authorities are investigating a fatal collision that occurred in the early morning hours Thursday on Bennie Road.
At around 2:50 a.m. Thursday, the Cortland County Sheriff's Office responded to a single motor vehicle accident on Bennie Road in Cortlandville.
The vehicle was a taxi van occupied by nine passengers, including the driver, according to Lt. Todd Caufield with the sheriff's office. The taxi was traveling west on Bennie Road when the vehicle left the roadway, first striking a utility pole and then striking a tree.
The driver and one of the occupants of the vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene, while the seven remaining passengers were transported to local hospitals. One passenger was airlifted by helicopter to SUNY Upstate Medical Center and two were transported by ambulance to the same location. The remaining four passengers were transported by ambulance to Cortland Regional Medical Center.
The conditions of the other passengers are unknown at this time, Lt. Caufield said.
Other agencies that assisted at the scene of the crash were New York State Police, the Cortlandville Fire Department, TLC Ambulance, Dryden Ambulance, National Grid, and Rick & Rich Towing.
The cause of the accident is currently under investigation. The names of the victims are not being released pending notification of family members.
Tompkins Cortland Community College President Orinthia Montague released a statement Thursday announcing that the college would cancel classes for the day and make counseling staff available to anyone in need.
“Today is a very sad day for Tompkins Cortland Community College. We are left with a heavy heart after learning of the death of one of our students. We share our deepest sympathies with the families and friends of our lost student, as well as those connected to the taxi driver who also perished," Montague
You can read the full statement here.