WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Colleagues are remembering a young nurse who died in a motorcycle crash in West Seneca that sources tells News 4 was likely the result of speeding.
24-year-old Chelsea Olsen did not survive when she was thrown from the back of a motorcycle on the 400. The operator of the motorcycle, Joseph Ayer of Cheektowaga, had served time for attempted burglary. He is said to have been an acquaintance of Olsen, a nurse at Millard Gates. Police are still trying to figure out many unanswered questions.
Some witnesses on the 400 told authorities they were going over the 65 MPH limit when two motorcycles whizzed by. One News 4 source says speeds were upwards of 120 MPH. Olsen was on the back of one of the motorcycles when it hit a pickup truck and crashed under the truck. The bike's operator, 29-year-old Joseph Ayer of Cheektowaga, survived, but Olsen was killed.
West Seneca Police Lt. Edward Baker said, "He slid to a stop and unfortunately she was stopped by another object (a guardrail support post) on the roadway."
Shortly before the accident, Olsen posted a picture on her Facebook page of the motorcycle next to them with the caption: "We got a need for speed." She had worked here at the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Millard Gates, and she is remembered as a team player and very good at what she did.
Managing Nurse Sandra Gibson said, "She really loved her patients. She was respected by her co-workers and was really a great nurse."
Many in her unit were too upset to be interviewed. But Olsen, who was from Ithaca, put a lot of stock in friendship. She was with one of her closest friends, also from Ithaca, who was riding on the back of the other motorcycle the night of the accident.
"Loved life. Loved to go out with her friends. Her family was out of town, so she really did rely on her friends outside of work," said Gibson.
Lt. Baker said, "Somebody that young. Has their whole life ahead of them. The circumstances are bad for everybody involved, especially bad for her, obviously."
Charges have not been filed at this point, but speed, at the very least, is expected to be a factor. Ayer was not tested for alcohol at the scene.
Lt. Baker explained, "The officers that respond are looking at the drivers for any signs of alcohol involvement or intoxication, and the officers that night didn't see any of those signs in speaking with Mr. Ayer."
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