MACHIAS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A teenage girl is dead as the result of a crash Saturday night in Cattaraugus County.
The Sheriff’s office said the crash happened around 10:30 p.m. on Roszyk Hill, near N. Sisson Road, in the Town of Machias. According to authorities, the vehicle, which had seven teenage occupants, went off the road at a sharp intersection and hit a tree.
The 17-year-old victim, a passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was later identified by Cuba-Rushford School District as Julia Horton.
Horton’s family describes her as vibrant, goofy and driven with dreams of becoming a welder. They hope people remember the good times they had with her and say no one should have to bury their child.
“She would give anything to anybody. She lit up a room when she walked in. She was an honors student,” Katie Horton, Julia’s mother, told News 4.
The teens were on their way back to Cuba, N.Y. after a trip to the Walmart in Springville, N.Y., according to Horton’s parents.
“She said they were getting gas and that they would be on the way to the house as soon as they were done getting gas,” Joshua Horton, Julia’s father, said.
Joshua and Katie Horton arrived home from work shortly after 11 o’clock Saturday night and there was no sign of Julia. That’s when they contacted law enforcement and ECMC.
“I’m a medic. I’ve been doing it for 20 years. I started piecing things together,” Joshua Horton added.
Seven teens were in the vehicle, which the Horton’s say was a pick-up truck. Two people are hospitalized in critical condition and the remaining occupants of the vehicle received minor injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said. The Horton family identified one of them as Julia’s boyfriend. Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb calls this a horrible crash.
“In this case, this was a horrible accident where a young lady lost her life, another person is in critical condition. There were multiple people in the vehicle, multiple families, multiple notifications and a large number of witnesses and interviews that need to be conducted,” Sheriff Whitcomb said.
This crash comes just five days after four teenagers were killed in a one vehicle crashed on Route 198 in Buffalo.
Julia’s family says it’s always important to let your kids know you love them.
“Hug your kids. Take care of them. Tell them you love them everyday even though they are mad at you or you’re mad at them because they did something or won’t do something. Tell them you love them,” Joshua and Katie Horton concluded.
The other victim’s names have not yet been released.
There is a GoFundMe set up for the Horton family. Visit the website here.
The Cuba-Rushford School District, where Julia was a student released the following statement:
On Saturday, October 29th, there was a car accident that resulted in one CRCS student fatality and injuries to two other CRCS students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of Julia Horton, a junior, who was killed in the car accident. On Monday we will have counselors available in the building to meet with and support our students throughout the day as needed. If you have concerns regarding your child, please call the guidance office at 585-968-2650.”Cuba-Rushford School District
The crash remains under investigation.
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Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.