New York State Police on the Thruway have released details surrounding a fatal motor vehicle accident over the holiday weekend involving a tractor trailer and a burning Prius.

Troopers say on Sunday, September 3, at approximately 1:24 a.m., they responded to a serious personal injury crash that occurred in the town of Florida, in Montgomery County on the NYS Thruway, I-90.

The accident took the life of 81-year-old Judith C. Humphrey, of Utica.

A preliminary investigation determined that 55-year-old Steven G. Humphrey, also of Utica, was operating a Toyota Prius eastbound, when for an unknown reason, he rear-ended a tractor trailer.  The tractor trailer was being driven by 32-year-old Ronnie A. Benjamin Peguero, of Middletown, NY.  The impact caused the Prius to catch fire.

The vehicles immediately pulled over and both drivers removed the passenger of the Prius from the vehicle.  Troopers say, Humphrey, suffered fatal injuries before she could be removed from the vehicle and she was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Montgomery County Coroner.  Humphrey was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam for non-life-threatening injuries.  Peguero was not injured during the crash.

In recent years, there have been several reported incidents of intense fires after Prius Hybrid vehicles were involved in motor vehicle accidents. In 2018, nearly 1 million Prius vehicles were recalled because of a risk of fire issue.

State Police say the crash remains under investigation.

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