GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) - Police describe a fiery crash along the 190 in Buffalo as one of the worst they've ever seen. Three young men visiting Niagara Falls and Buffalo were killed.
State Police believe an 87-year-old driver got on the 190 went the wrong way for several miles, even crossing the Grand Island bridge in the wrong direction, before coming to a devastating halt. Both drivers survived and remain in critical condition, but three passengers were killed.
The calls started coming in from drivers on the 190 at Ontario Street that Richard Hildebrand was going the wrong way. But troopers couldn't catch up to him in time and seven miles later, there was a deadly collision.
Crystal Kirtz described, "I heard like a smash sound and it woke me up out of bed."
Three young men, Nazim Khan, Shofiul Alom, and Rezwan Chowdhury were killed. They and the driver of their car, Burhanur Rahman, were visiting Niagara Falls and Buffalo from Hamtramck, Michigan. The care carrying the young men, all in their 20s, was heading south on the 190 after 12:30 a.m.
Meantime, Hildebrand was also on the road. He got on the 190 in the wrong direction at some point around Ontario Street, heading north in the southbound lanes. He went at least seven miles in the wrong direction.
NYS Police Sgt. Brian Guise said, "It looked like at the last second, one of the vehicles, if not both, swerved. The major impact was on the passenger side of each vehicle."
Several questions remain, including what the elderly man was doing on the road that late at night and why meeting several other cars before the crash didn't tell him he was going the wrong way. Troopers received multiple calls, but were just too far away.
Hildebrand lived by himself in a multi-family house. He had a valid driver's license.
His neighbor, Robert D'Alimonte, said, "He drove every day. Didn't seem like anything was wrong, you know?"
D'Alimonte says Hildebrand got around really well, that he was a great guy who said "hi" every morning.
"He was a super guy. You really couldn't say much more about him," D'Alimonte recounted.
Those who witnessed the aftermath of the crash say it is one that will be hard to forget. Troopers say there's no right answer as to what the young men could have done differently to avoid the crash.
Sgt. Guise said, "It's a guessing game. And the biggest thing, you just hope you guess right."
At last check, Hildebrand and 22-year-old Burhanur Rahman are both at ECMC in critical condition.
Police, FBI agents and a bomb squad all showed up on a quiet residential street in North Buffalo overnight.
Eighty-two-year-old Edward Spencer was making a left hand turn while exiting the Budwey's parking lot when he struck 52-year-old Sandra Garner and 55-year-old Kevin Nowak, according to authorities.
An angry mother who claims her daughter was dropped-off miles away from home wants answers.
Deputies say a teen driver fell asleep at the wheel early Thursday morning before crashing head-on with another vehicle.
Police say a Jamestown man was selling crack cocaine out of his barber shop on East Second Street.
City Hall is considering turning to taxpayers to help keep the lights on at the only movie theatre in downtown Buffalo.