14 March 2023

  Major Vincent T. Lightcap
  Troop D Commander



State Police have released the identification of the driver who was killed in the crash as 38-year-old Vanessa J. Colon from Mohawk, NY.  The investigation is continuing.

On March 13, 2023, at 7:57 p.m., State Police in Herkimer responded to a two-vehicle crash on State Route 5S, just east of East Main Street in the town of German Flatts, Herkimer County.

The preliminary investigation has determined a 2018 Toyota Rav4 was traveling east on State Route 5S when it crossed over into the westbound lane and sideswiped a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, operated by Steven A. Robellard, age 70 from Mohawk, NY that was traveling west on State Route 5S.  

The Rav4 then struck the guide rail on both the north and south side shoulders of the roadway and then became engulfed in flames with the operator trapped inside. The operator of the Rav4 was pronounced deceased at the scene. The identity of the driver is not being released at this time until an autopsy is completed and a positive identity is known. It appears at this time the driver may have experienced a medical event prior to the crash. 

Mr. Robellard and two other passengers in his vehicle were not injured in the crash.

The investigation is continuing.

State Police were assisted at the scene by the Herkimer Police Department, Mohawk Police Department, German Flatts Fire Department, Mohawk Fire Department, East Herkimer Fire Department, MOVAC Ambulance, and NYS Department of Transportation.


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