CAYUTA, N.Y. (WETM) – On Sunday October 16th, a two-vehicle accident occurred on state Route 13. The accident involved a van that rear-ended a tractor that was pulling a trailer. Both vehicles sustained damage and one person was taken to the hospital.
Unfortunately, accidents between cars and tractor are becoming increasingly common, especially on state Route 13. Gary Vondracek, whose son was hit in the accident on Sunday, expressed his concern on people driving down state Route 13 at high speeds or while using their cellphones.
“Years have gone by and people just assume that this is an interstate,” Gary said. “They think that this road can be traveled on while going 70 miles an hour when it just can’t be.”
Corey Vondracek, who was driving the tractor that was hit, was only about 1,000 yards away from his family’s farm. The accident left its mark leaving Corey with a scar on his forehead and unable to return back to work until he fully recovers.
“All I remember is this crash. I don’t know how it happened or went it happened,” Corey said. “I looked at the fender on the tractor and it is all smashed up around me. I got off the tractor and realized the trailer I was pulling was completely missing.”
This isn’t the first time the Vondracek family has been involved in a car accident involving a tractor either. Gary’s tractor was hit by a tractor-trailer back in 1978.
“17 years with this department, I can count 4 fatalities off the top of my head without even thinking about it,” Adam Mahnke, Chief of Odessa Fire Department said. “Texting while driving has got to stop, playing with different social media apps while driving has got to stop.”
Gary expressed that police officers can hand out hundreds of tickets punishing those for speeding, but the true change has to come from drivers on the road.
“Slow down. Two to three minutes, four minutes, five minutes longer either getting home or getting to work is nothing compared to a life,” Gary said. “Any state legislatures or senators, I’d be more than willing to talk to because I think there needs to be laws on the book in this state that protect us farmers.”